Poster Session Abstracts

Rachel Adams, Natural Hazards Center
Candace Evans, Natural Hazards Center
Lori Peek, Natural Hazards Center
Haorui Wu, Dalhousie University
Melissa Villarreal, Natural Hazards Center

CONVERGE Training Modules: Free Online Education for Extreme Events Researchers and Practitioners

The National Science Foundation-supported CONVERGE initiative at the Natural Hazards Center is dedicated to advancing social science and interdisciplinary extreme events research through identifying, coordinating, and training diverse researchers and practitioners. CONVERGE, with supplemental funding from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, has developed a series of free online modules to train hazards and disaster researchers and practitioners, with a special emphasis on students, individuals who are new to the field, and those interested in working in interdisciplinary teams. The training modules are available at Since July 2019, CONVERGE has released four training modules: (1) Social Vulnerability and Disasters; (2) Disaster Mental Health; (3) Cultural Competence in Hazards and Disaster Research; and (4) Institutional Review Board Procedures and Extreme Events Research. Each module features learning objectives, lesson plans, written content, and case studies. The modules also include a list of further reading and links to additional resources, such as standardized measures, publicly available data sets, and online resources. Each module is followed by a short multiple-choice quiz. Those who receive a score of 80% or higher receive a certificate of completion. This poster highlights the four training modules that have already been released, while also showcasing forthcoming training module topics, including Conducting Emotionally Challenging Research and Understanding and Ending Gender-Based Violence in Fieldwork. The poster also presents user background characteristics and evaluation results from our pre- and post-assessment of knowledge, attitudes, and skills for those who have completed the available modules.

John Aggrey, Louisiana State University
Kathryn Keating, Louisiana State University
Sarah Becker, Louisiana State University
Ifeyinwa Davis, Louisiana State University
Tim Slack, Louisiana State University
Jaishree Beedasy, Columbia University
Thomas Chandler, Columbia University

Technological Disasters and Community Trust in Southeast Louisiana

Technological disasters involve loss of control over a technology once perceived as controllable. Trust is an essential component in understanding the dynamics of these events. Though explored from the institutional perspective where institutional failure accounts for the disruption of social trust, trust in this paper is examined using the concept of tandems of trust and control. From community members’ perspective, this analysis unravels perceptions of trust relationships embedded in the linkages between institutions, technology and people (community). Following the BP Deepwater Horizon Oil Spill (DHOS), 46 parents participated in focus group discussions in seven spill-affected parishes in Louisiana in November 2017. Using grounded-theory techniques, themes of trust and control were analyzed within these narrative focus group conversations. Preliminary findings characterize the impacts of DHOS disruption on the trust/control nexus embedded in community members’ interactions with the following social institutions: local industry and work, regulatory institutions, local and state government, healthcare, and community groups. Findings are further contextualized through discussion of the cumulative impacts of human-caused and natural environmental stressors present in Southeast Louisiana.

Oye Akisanya, Jacksonville State University
Jeffrey Ryan, Jacksonville State University
Shih-Kai Huang, Jacksonville State University

Risk Communication to Facilitate Campus Reopening During the COVID-19 Pandemic

The COVID-19 pandemic has had a dramatic effect on Institutions of Higher Education (IHE). After several months of public health measures aimed at mitigating disease transmission, colleges, and universities have been preparing their campuses to resume operations in the fall using a phased approach aimed at creating a new normal by implementing guidance for IHE administrators. These efforts should be guided by an awareness of the campus population’s risk perception. Accordingly, Jacksonville State University surveyed 1,864 students, faculty, and staff. It examined their confidence level for reopening under a new normal considering socioeconomic status, emotional concerns, symptom tracking, risk exposures, health conditions, and protective actions. Regression analysis of aggregate data indicates that the risk of infection has the strongest effects on a person’s willingness to return to campus. Further, the results reveal that even though Coronavirus does not discriminate against any group or person, some with physical or social vulnerabilities require reinforcement through risk communication to feel comfortable with a return to campus. It is also noteworthy that students, as well as staff, reported additional concerns regarding the format of attending class and returning to work. Overall, the results of this study indicate the need for a comprehensive risk communication plan to convey the university’s ability to contain the spread of contagion and enhance the safety of the campus environment. Individual assistance, such as financial aid and help with childcare, might be required for employees with special needs. 

S M Asger Ali, Mississippi State University
Duane A. Gill, Oklahoma State University

Content Analysis of Media Framing and Agenda Setting of Hurricane Harvey's News Coverage.

During crisis moments like a natural disaster, people tend to rely on the mass media to get up-to-date information and stay informed. However, when media are covering crisis news, they lose some objectivity, and rather than providing balanced news coverage, media may become critical towards the government and private sectors for their participation in disaster response and recovery processes. This paper investigated the print media coverage of Hurricane Harvey and utilized data from three newspapers: the New York Times (online), the Wall Street Journal (online), and the Houston Chronicle. By examining the media's use of descriptors, quotes, wording, and images, this research explored how media assigned a tone for government and private sectors for their role in Harvey's response and recovery. Findings revealed that the human-interest frame received the most media attention, and the morality frame received less attention. Regarding tone, this study found that the media's overall tone for government response was neutral. However, the tone for the federal government was slightly negative, while the tone for city and state level of government was slightly positive. By examining the media's tone and frame, this research contributes to the literature on risk communication, mass media, and disaster studies.

Keywords: Hurricane Harvey, Mass Media, Disaster Response, Media Framing, and Risk Communication.

Yahaira D. Álvarez, University of Puerto Rico, Mayagüez
Raquel Lugo Bendezú, University of Puerto Rico, Mayagüez
Jocelyn West, Natural Hazards Center, University of Colorado Boulder
Lindsay Davis, U.S. Geological Survey
K. Stephen Hughes, University of Puerto Rico, Mayagüez
Jonathan Godt, U.S. Geological Survey
Lori Peek, Natural Hazards Center

Collaborative Landslide Risk Communication in Puerto Rico

Heavy rainfall from Hurricane Maria triggered more than 70,000 landslides in Puerto Rico when it struck the island in 2017. In the aftermath of the disaster, Puerto Rican officials expressed a need for educational materials about landslide hazards to help guide residents, emergency managers, and planners in reducing risk. Earlier this year, the Landslide Guide for Residents of Puerto Rico was released to the public in Spanish and English to help meet that need. 

The core team behind the Landslide Guide includes students, faculty, and scientists from the University of Puerto Rico Mayagüez, Natural Hazards Center, and U.S. Geological Survey. An even broader network of practitioners and scientists across Puerto Rico contributed time and expertise to the development of the Guide. The print and digital versions of the Guide were the first products in a suite of dual-language landslide risk communication tools for Puerto Rico developed to address a range of stakeholder needs. 

These complementary products include: (1) presentation slides and speaker notes that can be used by emergency managers with communities as well as by the Puerto Rico Planning Board to train building inspectors to identify landslide hazards; (2) a short animation that can easily be shared on social media or in presentations to explain both environmental and human causes of landslides; and (3) experiments and educational activities developed for the EcoExploratorio science museum that can be used by K-12 educators, families, and others. The Landslide Guide, related products, and recorded presentations are available for download at

Leo Matteo Bachinger, Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute

Transforming Food Production Through Climate Adaptation

As escalating climate disasters strike rural, food-producing communities across the United States and Europe, communities begin to adapt. This poster presents highlights of three empirical year study of adaptation practice and planning in two concrete rural communities in Austria and New York State. This research used a combination of qualitative and ethnographic methods and interpretative policy analysis in a comparative perspective. The presentation will provide 1) an overview of the multi-dimensional and intersectional challenges that farmers and rural communities face as climate disruptions escalate. But it will also 2) highlight critical approaches to adaptation that constitute new hopes in the face of disaster. Farmers, members of the broader rural communities, and government adaptation planners develop approaches to adaptation that create new possibilities for agricultural communities to not only weather disaster, but to flourishing.  The research presents key insights in how local stakeholders and state government actors rethink adaptation as a moment for societal transition and to strengthen sustainability, equity and democracy. It highlights how new approaches to food production, community-centered planning, and transformative adaptation policy approaches can create pathways towards equitable, sustainable and climate just futures. 

Abby Baldwin, Mount Holyoke College
Chelsea LeNoble, Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University
Annamaria Wolf, Clemson University
Rebecca Lindgren, Clemson University

Teamwork, Stress, and Technology in Emergency Services #TetrisChallenge Photographs

Emergency service professionals help communities prepare for, respond to, and recover from emergency, crisis and disaster situations. The recent #TetrisChallenge, in which first responder teams posted photographs to social media depicting what they need to respond to emergencies (and fitting everything into the photo created an image reminiscent of pieces in a Tetris game), may provide new insight into characteristics of emergency work . The purpose of this study was to analyze the content of #TetrisChallenge tagged photos across the globe. Fifty-three photos were analyzed for the type of team (law enforcement, medical, fire, military, or a combination team composition, safety equipment, uniforms and worn gear, and country. Each image was also coded with the 2019 Global Finance Safety Index for the country in which it originated. Preliminary results indicate that most images included a single response agency with an average personal of 4.7 members. Teams were predominantly comprised of male members with an athletic physical build. Most photographs (26.8%) were posted by medical responders, followed by law enforcements (23.2%). There was high variation in the amount and type of safety equipment represented. These findings provide insight into the representations of teamwork, communication, and interaction with technology amongst emergency response teams. Differences in the content agencies chose to include in their photos may indicate differences in the perceived identities and roles of emergency responder teams across cultures. Importantly, this study raises questions for future research about first responder social media engagement and cross-cultural differences in emergency response.

Alyssa Banford Witting, Brigham Young University

Assessing Catastrophe: A Resource-Based Approach

In the last few years, there have been calls for a standardized approach to assessing disaster exposure, yet most studies of the social and mental health impact of disasters tend to use idiosyncratic assessments for each study and each disaster. Standardized, theory-based approaches to measuring exposure in catastrophic circumstances may allow for a greater understanding of how individuals, communities and disasters differ in their impact and reveal new avenues for addressing that impact. One central construct to consider in measuring disaster or catastrophe exposure is loss of various forms. The conservation of resources (COR) theory is situated on the foundational tenet that stress is a function of loss. In an effort to offer a standardized format for assessing disaster based upon COR theory and focusing on losses (which can be adapted to various catastrophes), a new scale has been developed: The Loss and Impact of Catastrophes Scale (LICS). The scale assesses loss among the four resource types discussed within the COR theory literature, namely: object resources with concrete value, conditions, energies, and personal characteristics. This poster will present a confirmatory factor analysis (CFA) and discuss the psychometric properties of the scale with two samples affected by different types of disasters (mostly hurricanes). The predictive validity of the scale, particularly in understanding dyadic couple responses to disaster (a vastly under-researched topic) will also be presented in addition to evidence of reliability and discriminant validity. Suggestions for how to use the scale in further disaster research will be offered.

Daniel Barnett, Johns Hopkins University
Kandra Strauss-Riggs, National Center for Disaster Medicine and Public Health
Norma Quintanilla, National Center for Disaster Medicine and Public Health
Thomas Kirsch, National Center for Disaster Medicine and Public Health

The Limitation of After Action Reports and the Future of Response Assessment

After Action Reports (AARs) are a fundamental component of the disaster response process. Despite efforts to standardize evaluation, to date, there is no systematic method for aggregating and reviewing AARs. In November 2018, the authors extracted and reviewed AARs from jurisdictions in Texas following Hurricanes Katrina and Rita in 2005 and Hurricane Harvey in 2017 in order to assess the utility of AARs as a quality improvement measurement tool. 16 AARs met the inclusion criteria. There were 500 identified problem-solution sets mapped to a Public Health Emergency Management (PHEM) domain. Five consistent issues were raised in 2005 and again in 2017. To frame the AAR analysis, the PHEM domains were applied and revealed a distinct lack of standardization and very limited mechanisms to track the solutions to problems identified by the AARs. Inclusion of more objective reporting measures is urgently needed. Longitudinal analysis of the implementation and impact of AARs continues to be challenging due to the large number of variables in an AAR: from the jurisdiction reporting, the AAR authorship, the type of event, and observed variations make interpretation difficult especially if a significant amount of time has elapsed since the event. 

Beth Bartel, UNAVCO
Wendy Bohon, Incorporated Research Institutions for Seismology
Wendy Stovall, U.S. Geological Survey
Lauren Frank, Portland State University
Michael Poland, U.S. Geological Survey

Introducing Geoscientists and Journalists to Hazards Communication Best Practices Early in Their Careers

Geoscientists and journalists are critical allies in geohazards communication, and are the voices that the public turns to for information in crisis and calm. However, both groups often lack the insight gained by social scientists on how to best deliver messages. Additionally, scientists are sometimes reluctant to talk with the media; conversely, journalists sometimes find scientists difficult to access. To overcome these obstacles, a short course was developed to bring early-career journalists and geoscience graduate students together to learn evidence-and experience-based methods for communicating geohazards from communication practitioners and researchers. The goals of the program included exploring the ethics and best practices of communicating about geohazards; engaging with professional communicators and regional hazards monitoring scientists; producing a final media project, and building a cross-career path cohort. The inaugural geoscientist and journalist, “Communicating Geohazards,” short course was held in October 2019 in Portland, Oregon, and developed with funding from an American Geophysical Union Celebrate 100 grant. The program was comprised of two-days in the classroom, a field trip to the U.S. Geological Survey's Cascades Volcano Observatory, and three remote follow-on sessions. Content explored responsible communication of geohazards with a focus on earthquakes and volcanoes of the Pacific Northwest. A post-course handbook, developed from course materials and discussions, is available for free online and includes select discussion prompts. In this poster, we will share the short course model and lessons learned.

Ashley Berd, Texas A&M University
Maria Watson, Texas A&M University

Follow the Money: Using Content Analysis to Understand Disaster Spending

Recovery from and mitigation for disasters is not uniform across events or communities. Although there can be commonalities across disasters in terms of recurrent disaster funding streams, financing for disaster management varies by community and hazard event. This poster explores various funding streams and how planning documents such as hazard mitigation, recovery, capital improvement, and comprehensive plans can have codes created for mixed methods of qualitative and quantitative analysis. The typology of codes can represent policies, themes, funding awards, time frame, and track recovery costs, investments, and funding sources through time. This poster applies this method to the case study of Galveston, Texas, after 2008 Hurricane Ike to track federal disaster spending on infrastructure, utilities, and facilities. The aim of this research is to track funding sources and spending and develop a standardized coding process and methodology to facilitate comparisons across different communities, hazards, mitigation, and recovery priorities to identify best practices and broader trends of how recovery resources are utilized in disaster management. Actions, policies, and improvements can be identified to help set a protocol for other cities to follow.

Alison Bird, Natural Resources Canada
J.Murray Journeay, Natural Resources Canada
Tiegan Hobbs, Natural Resources Canada
Stephen Crane, Natural Resources Canada
John Adams, Natural Resources Canada
Henry Seywerd, Natural Resources Canada
Nicky Hastings, Natural Resources Canada
Carol Wagner, Natural Resources Canada

Risk Assessment Guiding Development of an Earthquake Early Warning System for Canada

As part of Canada’s efforts to meet the recommendations outlined in the United Nation’s Sendai Framework for Disaster Risk Reduction, Natural Resources Canada recently completed a national-scale earthquake risk assessment using Global Earthquake Model’s OpenQuake engine. The probabilistic seismic hazard model, developed for the 2015 National Building Code of Canada, was included in the assessment, along with several deterministic models of a variety of potentially damaging earthquake scenarios. Estimated ground motions, calculated by including site-specific conditions, were employed to determine the risk on the built and human environment through combination with vulnerability and fragility functions. We will present how this risk assessment is guiding the design of the national Earthquake Early Warning (EEW) system being developed for Canada. Included amongst those areas at greatest earthquake risk, are active fault zones shared by both Canada and the U.S., such as the Cascadia Subduction Zone. Events along these faults could cause damage and other impacts both sides of the border; data will therefore be shared between the countries and the ShakeAlert EEW software (developed by the United States’ Geological Survey) will be employed. We will demonstrate how Canada’s EEW system will mitigate the impacts of strong earthquakes to both the built environment and people, through timely notification to and appropriate response actions by critical infrastructure operators, other industrial facilities, and the public. This national EEW system will contribute to the country’s resiliency from seismic hazards.

Thomas Ryan Brindle, Jacksonville State University
Shih-Kai Huang, Jacksonville State University
Tanveer Islam, Jacksonville State University
Jane Kushma, Jacksonville State University

A Protective Action Decision Model for Inter-organizational Supply Chain Resilience

The Protective Action Decision Model (PADM) describes the systematic cognitive processes of individuals’ emergency protective response behaviors that result from perceived social and environmental cues, risk perceptions, and action assessments. While this model has been widely verified in applications involving individuals and households, to date there exists a lack of verifiable and falsifiable modeling related to cooperative protective action response decision making in the private sector. Recent events, such as the COVID-19 pandemic, have demonstrated the reliance of disaster mitigation and response in the United States on private sector supply chains for products and equipment, specifically in the case of hospital personal protective equipment and ventilators. However, limited information is available concerning the inter-organizational corporate decision-making processes related to private sector protective actions aimed at supply chain management resilience. Hence, this study proposes a framework, introducing the PADM into the context of organizational behavior related to supply chain management, with limited adaptations. The proposed framework aims to use corporate demographic information, contextual information related to supply chain network structures during the onset of an incidents, expectations related to the impact of disruption and uncertainty on supply and demand, as well as emotional effects of an incident, offering a new theoretical model that supports the fields of organizational behavior and supply chain business continuity planning. 

Thomas Ryan Brindle, California State University Maritime Academy
Tu-Jung Hung, Oklahoma State University
Shih-Kai Huang, Jacksonville State University
Hao-Che Wu, University of North Texas
Chih-Chun Lin, Jacksonville State University
Jing-Chein Lu, Central Police University, Taiwan
Michael Lindell, University of Washington

Households Immediate Response during a Nighttime Earthquake

The emergency management community has routinely propagated the assumption that individuals are more vulnerable to earthquakes occurring during nighttime hours due to a reduced capacity to receive and process information necessary to adopt a protective action. To better understand this issue, 762 households who experienced the 2018 Eastern Taiwan Earthquake, which struck Taiwan at 11:50 p.m. local time, were surveyed. Respondents’ immediate protective actions were examined against their respective contextual circumstances, as well as their risk perceptions, emotional reactions, disaster preparedness, and demographic characteristics. The results indicated that respondents were most likely to be with their families and in bed during the onset of the event. Respondents also reported higher levels of emotions associated with panic, contributing to their risk perceptions. A small number of respondents chose to immediately take an on-site protective action (18%), while most respondents chose either no protective action (58%) or performed an ill-advised action, such as evacuation (25%). Regression analysis revealed that the contextual circumstances of respondents often influenced their emotional reactions, and, in turn, their adoption of protective actions. Specifically, being in bed at the onset of the event did not prevent respondents from taking a protective action, but reduced the likelihood of a behavior involving movement. Additionally, the data suggested that individuals who were alone and did not receive immediate social cues had a higher likelihood of freezing in place, whereas respondents who were not alone may have been triggered to engage in an action by following the behavior of others.

Emily Brooks, U.S. Geological Survey
Alice Pennaz, U.S. Geological Survey
Sarah Swanson, Department of the Interior
Nate Wood, U.S. Geological Survey

Challenges (and Opportunities) of Hazard Planning in Parks, Refuges, and Tribal Lands

The Strategic Hazard Identification and Risk Assessment project (SHIRA), a collaboration between the U.S. Geological Survey and the Department of the Interior (DOI) Office of Emergency Management, provides science-based tools to support DOI and partner emergency managers in better understanding, communicating, and planning for potential threats. As part of this effort, the SHIRA team employed a social science-driven approach to stakeholder engagement and product development. DOI and tribal emergency managers face a unique set of constraints, from geographic and administrative isolation and staffing challenges to protecting diverse assets and people from a variety of hazards. Drawing on interviews with emergency managers at DOI parks, refuges, and units, as well as with Tribal emergency managers, we identify three key needs related to the day-to-day challenges of hazards planning and response: 1) integrating multiple forms of data/information and expertise into planning processes (e.g., nationwide geospatial data layers, written reports, and the lived experience of long-time staff members); 2) improving access to actionable hazards science (managers are interested in science-driven planning, but not always able to find what they need); and 3) balancing the general with the specific (e.g., creating nationally consistent tools and templates that facilitate management of diverse regionally and locally specific hazards planning with limited time and staff. By gaining a deep understanding of the context in which managers plan, we can better design tools that respond to managers’ needs.

Li-Li Chen, Home of Heart Psychological Clinic, Taiwan
Shih Kai Huang, Jacksonville State University

Children’s Post-Disaster Stress Relief: A Case Study of Sandplay Therapy in Typhoon Morakot

Even though disasters usually come with different levels of psychological consequences, researchers tend to believe that the vast majority could recovery with their self-healing abilities. It consequently makes the early post-disaster mental health intervention studies, especially in the childhood level, long been understudied. Recent researches, arguing that children’s post-disaster trajectories on posttraumatic stress could differ to adults in terms of their resilience, chronic distress, and recovery, spark up new public concerns in this issue. Accordingly, this study conducted a close-in and in-depth observation on a client, screened from 2,137 students aged between nine and 15 years, who experienced the 2009 Typhoon Morakot. With 15 Sandplay Therapy sessions carrying on 17 sand scenes in a half year starting four months later after the disaster, a significant drop on the post-traumatic stress disorder scale coming with reduced Wounding Themes and more stable Transformation Themes, as well as the transitions among angry, lonely, grieved, annoyed, hopeful, joyful, and energetic feelings, had been observed. Meanwhile, the results of the close-in observation have down the client’s post-disaster psychological recovery to four phases—safety seeking, issue processing, world reconnecting, and ego development stage progressing—in featuring the client’s mental relief and healing. Overall, the findings conclude that early childhood mental health interventions would be essential to those who exposed to post-disaster stress in preventing disaster consequences, providing emotional care, patching up psychological well-being, strengthening ego development, improving social, cultural, and environmental adaptations, facilitating healing, and enhancing resilience. 

Shaieree Cottar, University of Waterloo

Managed Retreat & Resilience Building: Canadian Communities Recovering from the Ottawa River Floods

Natural hazards pose a significant risk to local economies, critical infrastructure, and public health and safety. Compounding this, climate change is introducing a new existential threat to Canadian riverine communities, amplifying the risks of flooding for homeowners. Managed retreat–the act of purchasing/buying-out, demolishing, and relocating homes that are under the threat of flooding is one of the few government-supported policy options that is available to Quebec homeowners who are facing repeated long-term risks of flood-damaged homes. An alternative policy option available in Ontario is the Disaster Recovery Assistance for Ontarians program which is used to aid homeowners in repairing, cleaning and replacing damaged essential property. The 2017 and 2019 Ottawa River floods which affected both Constance Bay and Pointe Gatineau indicated the need for increased government assistance for homeowners on how to cope with flood related events. This approach allows for the examination of different stakeholder perspectives that include afflicted homeowners and government policymakers who have vested economic, political and social interests in Canadian flood disasters. The use of triangulation will allow a better understanding of why different policies were created in both jurisdictions, the policy deployment strategy that followed the 2017/2019 floods, and how the policies prompted homeowners to make the decision to retreat or rebuild. This research will help to better understand flood adaptation strategies that are cost effective and resilient to future climate change by highlighting the successes and challenges associated with government sponsored home-buyout and disaster recovery assistance programs. 

Zachary Cox, University of Delaware
Amanda Kobokovich, Johns Hopkins University
James Kendra, University of Delaware
Monica Schoch-Spana, Johns Hopkins University
Robert Burhans, Tetra Tech
Kimberly Gill, University of Delaware

COPEWELL: Improving Nationwide Community Resilience

COPEWELL, the Composite of Post-Event Well-Being, formalizes the complex interplay of systems that create or reduce community resilience. It does this first through a computational system dynamics model that empowers users to quantify and visualize their resilience. With an understanding of their strengths and weaknesses, jurisdictions are then enabled by the COPEWELL Rubrics, self-assessment tools that they can use to improve their capacity. There are five Rubrics, one each for Community Functioning, Emergency Management, Prevention and Mitigation, Population Vulnerability, Inequality and Deprivation, and Social Capital and Cohesion. In this poster, we present the Community Functioning Rubric and take readers through the community-led self-assessment rubric process. This process begins with an introduction to the Facilitators Guide, continues with an excerpt of the Rubric materials, and then notes how jurisdictions might use our "Menu of Resources" to find inspiration to enhance their capability. Natural Hazards Workshop attendees are invited to visit the COPEWELL website to access the system dynamics model, review the Rubric materials, and start to think about how they might be able to enhance resilience in their community. The website can be found at

Eleanor Davis, University of South Carolina
Kirstin Dow, University of South Carolina
Jennifer Helgeson, National Institute of Standards and Technology

Takin' Care of Business: Hurricanes, Pandemics, and Community Resilience in the Carolinas

Small- and Medium-sized Enterprises (SMEs) contribute significantly to local economic development and may impact household recovery and community resilience. However, they are also more vulnerable than larger businesses to disruptions due to lower cash reserves, geographic limitations, and limited capacity to access disaster-related aid. To study SME recovery from Hurricane Irma, the research team conducted 60 in-person interviews in Charleston, South Carolina. This case study found that prior existence of a hurricane plan, number of employees, business experience, and block group demographics all contributed to variations in reported revenue change due to the hurricane. This initial study identified further research questions and a need for continued engagement with SMEs. Additionally, this poster discusses current work studying SMEs preparation for, adaptation to, and community relationships during the COVID-19 pandemic and the 2020 hurricane season.

Tammie DeVooght Blaney, International Association of Structural Movers
Ethan Slate, Western Kentucky University/Toothman Structure Movers

Home Elevation for Flood Hazard Mitigation

This poster will highlight the International Association of Structural Mover’s Steps to Elevation program. Home elevation is a Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) sanctioned option for flood hazard mitigation. Thousands of United States homeowners struggle to deal with the uncertainty of living in a flood-prone area. The reality of rapidly rising flood insurance rates, the ever-present possibility of flooding, and the concern of lowered property values can be difficult. FEMA offers guidance on options homeowners could choose, sometimes with federal assistance: rebuild, buyouts, elevate, relocate. Our poster shares information about one of these options: home elevation. Rising sea levels and rising flood insurance rates present us with an opportune time to share information about home elevation. Both in the aftermath of major flood events and in the pre-disaster mitigation arenas, elevation provides a chance for homeowners to mitigate their homes from future flooding. Funding options covered will be: federal aid (including National Flood Insurance Program funds and pre- and post-disaster funds), state funding, and individual investment. The positive community outcomes including hiring numerous local construction tradesmen, saving natural resources, preserving historic buildings, stabilizing property values and ending the flood/rebuild cycle will be highlighted. The poster explains step by step how a homeowner would elevate their home. The problem is clear. Flooding is damaging and sometimes even deadly. One solution will be illustrated in our poster presentation.

Zachary Dixon, Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University

Clarifying Bridge and Roadway Closure Heuristics in Hurricane Evacuations

The closure of bridges and roadways is an understudied, vital moment in the management of hurricane evacuations. For many coastal residents, those closures represent a penultimate moment of their emergency experience. When roads and bridges from coastal barrier islands close during mandatory evacuations, their residents’ window to evacuate does as well. Bridges and roadways closure practices in the United States represent a confusing patchwork of regional, state, and even intra-state region policies and workflows spread across overlapping jurisdictions and agencies. Despite recognition that factors such as the transparency, accuracy, and detail of warning messages and announcements are critical to public compliance and participation, little if any serious investment has been made in studying the heuristics of roadway closures. Without clear heuristics and decision making strategies for when, how, and why roadways are closed in evacuations, transparent, accurate, and detailed communication with publics about those closures is obstructed. Without improved public communication about bridge and roadway closures in evacuations, engaging the public to willingly participate in the evacuations such closures loom over will remain difficult to achieve. This poster presents Critical Decision Methods (CDM) as a means of developing sensitive, flexible, and evidence-based best-practices and policy recommendations to improve future evacuation roadway closures. This poster describes the fundamental tenants of CDM methodologies, and develops a framework for studying decision-making heuristics in closing roads and bridges in hurricane evacuations. Finally, this poster details how CDM can help emergency management professionals and publics better navigate the closures roads and bridges in evacuations.

Meredith Dumler, University of Kansas
Miguel Cubero, University of Kansas
Amin Enderami, University of Kansas
Sarah Hofmeyer, University of Kansas
Elaina Sutley, University of Kansas

Social Network Analysis of Community Functionality

This project intends to establish a hierarchical framework that prioritizes organizations based on how they support a community’s human, social, natural, built, political, cultural, and financial capitals. The types of organizations considered include apartments, childcare facilities, faith-based organizations, gas stations, grocery stores, hotels and motels, non-profit organizations, nursing homes, schools, urgent care, wastewater treatment facilities, correctional facilities, and homeless shelters. These 13 types of organizations were hypothesized as critical to community functionality although they do not reach the highest risk category under the current approaches regarding the American Society of Civil Engineers 7-16. Information on the services offered by and users of each organization, as well as upstream and downstream dependencies are needed to establish the hierarchical framework. Three communities have been selected as testbeds: San Francisco, California; Onslow County, North Carolina; Mobile, Alabama. Before primary data collection, as a first step, ReferenceUSA was utilized to create a database of contacts, operational, and location information for over 6,000 organizations. This database was validated using publicly available online data, and ultimately used for administering future surveys to define services and dependencies. This poster presents the justification behind the organization selection, validation procedure, statistics measured using the database, and preliminary social network analysis executed using information obtained from ReferenceUSA. Two attributes are examined and presented here: organizations of one type, and distance between organizations; both were examined for each testbed. Outputs from the software Gephi are provided to visualize the relationships between the organizations by the attribute values.

Maggie Favretti, DesignEd 4 Resilience

Recovery & Resilience: Design Thinking in Education is Co-Powering Hope in Puerto Rico

Design Thinking engages school, community, and youth in co-empowerment and active hope.  Engaging young people in complex problem solving with community partners builds on existing capabilities to expand self- and shared efficacy and resilience.  In addition, it deepens learning and enables young people to step into uncertainty with confidence.  Schools and communities in Puerto Rico are using these tools and mindsets to drive resilience and transform schools and community centers into community resilience hubs.  Amplified youth voices connect youth to power and adds to their healing, their student self-esteem and their community's adaptive and regenerative capacity.  

Mahmood Fayazi, Sichuan University
Emily T. Yeh, University of Colorado Boulder
Fan Li, Sichuan University

Case Study of Development and Divergent Post-Disaster Trajectories After the Wenchuan Earthquake

Following the 2008 Wenchuan Earthquake, the Chinese state called for major reconstruction to be completed within three years. Reconstruction was subsequently folded into longer-term development goals, an approach often considered ‘building back better.’ However, few studies have examined long-term trajectories of household recovery and reconstruction-as-development. We conducted a case study of long-term trajectories in a severely-quake-stricken mountain village in Pengzhou City, Chengdu Municipality. Based on in-depth qualitative methods, including semi-structured interviews conducted with 59 rural residents between September 2018 and May 2019, we analyze distinct post-earthquake trajectories, including different patterns of recovery and experiences of development for villagers in a concentrated settlement and those who chose owner-driven reconstruction on their pre-earthquake house lots. We find that concentrated settlement created significant barriers to income generation and problems of inadequate housing to accommodate demographic growth and family reproduction. For those who chose in-situ reconstruction, differentiation occurred over a decade, because of changing development visions and construction regulations, as well as secondary earthquake hazards. These processes have exacerbated existing inequalities in a small, relatively homogenous village, and created new ones. Some households experience the post-earthquake period as an acceleration of development, whereas others experience a sense of moving backwards. Our study demonstrates that earthquake recovery cannot be considered a single, discrete event, but must be understood through long-term trajectories that intersect with political processes and place-based events. Moreover, we show how qualitative, in-depth studies can shed light on processes otherwise obscured when earthquake recovery and development are conceptualized as apolitical, technical issues.

Mahmood Fayazi, Université de Montréal
Isabelle-Anne Bisson, TerraHumana Solutions

Barriers to Climate Change Adaptation in Indigenous Communities in Southern Québec, Canada

The switch from climate change mitigation to the adaptation to its impacts or effects initially appears to be a promising strategy. Academics and practitioners, however, confront limits and barriers to the adaptation both in theory and practice. Despite the extensive efforts in understanding limits and barriers, little is still known about political and institutional barriers, more specifically political challenges in Indigenous communities that typically nullify the effect of adaptation strategies. This study investigates the experience of the Mohawk community of Kanesatake, a First Nations community in Canada, during and after the 2017 and the 2019 floods in Quebec. Results reveal the links between the proximate set of barriers and historical, political pressures in Indigenous communities. Findings explain that unhealed wounds in relationships among nations generate political and institutional hurdles, which eventually orchestrate the co-occurrence of multiple barriers: the lack of land ownership rights, insurance, and social institutions such as police force and firefighters, to name a few. Findings have implications both for theory and practice. In theory, the findings reveal the fact that barriers are not mutually exclusive; in fact, they are often interdependent. In practice, findings demonstrate the fact that policies fail if they disregard underlying interdependencies. 

H. Keith Florig, University of Florida
Rodrigo Castillo-Perez, University of Buffalo
David Prevatt, University of Florida
Rohit Tallur, University of Florida

Influencing Homeowners’ Hurricane Protection Decisions

Since 2002, the Florida building code has required that all new homes be structurally fortified against hurricane winds. Most older homes, however, remain unfortified despite discounts on homeowner insurance for homes that have been retrofitted with storm shutters, roof tie-downs and bracings, reinforced doors, and other fortifications. This research explores why so many Florida homeowners have yet to invest in hurricane fortification. First, we quantitatively compare the expected costs and benefits of fortification from a homeowner’s perspective. Next, we interview Florida homeowners to probe their mental models of hurricane risk and hurricane protection. Finally, based on our cost-benefit analysis and interview data, we propose risk communication messages that might prompt greater homeowner investment in fortification. Those messages are tested in a survey of Florida residents implemented via Amazon Mechanical Turk (MTURK). Comparing homeowners’ expected costs and benefits suggests that forgoing fortification is a reasonable choice for many homeowners because insurance discounts for fortification have long payback periods. Our interviews with homeowners suggest that they are generally unaware of structural characteristics that make their house susceptible to wind damage, unacquainted with fortification alternatives, unsure about insurance premium discounts, and overconfident about the wind speed that their home had previously survived. Our MTURK survey found that briefing people on these shortcomings of their mental models has surprisingly little effect on their preferred level of fortification investment. One notable exception is that providing details on insurance discounts increased respondents’ willingness to pay for fortification by about 1% of the home’s market value.

Shinya Fujimoto, Doshisha University
Fuminori Kawami, Doshisha University
Shigeo Tatsuki, Doshisha University

External and Internal Validation of the Disaster Schema-Initiated Evacuation Decision-Making Model

Initiating evacuation action plays a significant role in preventing human damages in emergency situations. The authors previously proposed an evacuation decision-making model constructed by integrating “disaster schema,” which is a knowledge structure that orients individuals to recognize certain phenomena as disasters, into the Protective Action Decision Model. Based on the model, the previous study analyzed the protective actions during the recent rainfall/typhoon disasters and verified the causal chain structure where disaster schema initiates information-seeking, which leads to protective responses. The present study aims to externally validate the causal flow above by applying it to both evacuation and shelter-in-place decision-making during other disaster times. Another purpose is to attempt internal validation by focusing on how the causal flow are related to evacuation timing. This study analyzed the web-based survey data whose subjects were the residents in 40 cities in Japan which Typhoon Hagibis struck in October 2019 (N=1,397). The respondents who implemented evacuation were divided into two groups in terms of whether they evacuated before or after the evacuation warning issuance. Multiple statistical analyses were performed to predict three types of protective actions (faster/slower evacuation and shelter-in-place). As a result, the previously verified decision-making structure was replicated in faster evacuation and shelter-in-place, whereas the slower evacuees followed a different decision-making style. Further analyses implied that the difference in decision-making between faster and slower evacuation were attributed to the degree of disaster schema formation. Based on the results, the efficacy of the risk communication methods designed for faster protective action was discussed.

Christine Gibb, University of Ottawa
Nnenia Campbell, University of Colorado Boulder
Gabriella Meltzer, New York University
Alice Fothergill, University of Vermont

Experiences and Mobilities of Children and Seniors During the COVID-19 Pandemic

Children and seniors have been found to be especially vulnerable to the effects of disasters as compared to the general population. Their vulnerability can be psychological, physical, social, economic, and educational. Our CONVERGE working group focuses on children and seniors in the COVID-19 pandemic. Our working group challenges the tendency to see these groups as passive recipients of interventions and instead recognizes the agency of these potentially vulnerable groups and their important contributions to their own and others’ recovery. Our working group supports child-centric and senior-centric approaches to research and developing ethically sound, innovative, research methodologies that can be effectively used both during the pandemic and once social distancing measures have been relaxed. The working group also aims to serve as a forum for disaster researchers who study children and older adults in the context of COVID-19 to share and obtain feedback on their encountered research dilemmas, outstanding questions, and preliminary findings. This working group aims to produce appropriate deliverables to share its results to reach a diverse audience of those who interact with children and seniors in a variety of arenas. For the scientific community, these deliverables will include journal articles on the methodologies and ethical considerations of conducting mixed-methods research with children and seniors in the pandemic context. For members of the policy community, nonprofits, and other organizations that serve these populations, deliverables will include sample policy briefs and an online hub of individual research project outputs that can be incorporated into institutional guidelines to improve pandemic-related outcomes.

Dana Greene, Independent Scholar
Jessica Pardee, Rochester Institute of Technology
Gonzalo Bacigalupe, University of Massachusetts, Boston
Shawna Bendeck, Colorado State University
Marcilyn Cianfarani, Independent Scholar
Shruthi Dakey, Visvesvaraya National Institute of Technology
Danielle Denardo, Soka University of America
Christine Gibb, University of Ottawa
Simone Goertz, Ocean-Doc Divers, Deutschland
Rachael Hernandez, University of Missouri
Priya Ranganath, Independent Scholar
Jennifer Schneider, Rochester Institute of Technology

Research in Progress: Redefining Family Under COVID-19

COVID-19 in an inverted disaster. Infrastructure is intact, water is potable, power is running, yet the challenges to the maintenance of social orders persist. Where family is often an asset in disaster preparation, survival and recovery, the nature of COVID-19 requires social distance and isolation, preventing care work from retaining its traditional forms, whilst simultaneously keeping families together through spatial confinement. The COVID-19 pandemic also demands the spatial rupture at the societal level as it encourages emotional congealing of social kin families - those of first responders, co-workers, neighbors, and even athletic teams and clubs into new systems of care, as the support work once completed by familial kin is now shared within different identity communities. This working group consists of eleven separate projects focusing on child care, LGBTQIA+, disability, immigration, medicine, coping strategies, and sports during the pandemic. Each project operationalizes the family (broadly defined) as a key unit of analysis. While the research conducted spans the methodological spectrum (qualitative, quantitative, triangulation of methods, etc.), the independent works complement each other through our Working Group’s use of the collective method. As such, to strengthen the quality of work produced, researchers benefit from targeted discussion and interaction with other group members. Our poster details the projects our members are undertaking, and shows, using text, photos, tables, and graphs, how eight unique projects are connected.

Samata Gyawali, North Carolina State University
Jane Allen, North Carolina State University
Olivia Vilá, North Carolina State University
Gretchen Caverly, North Carolina State University
Gavin Smith, North Carolina State University

Capacity to Implement FEMA-HMA Grants: A Survey of State Hazard Mitigation Officers

Over the past 30 years, Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) has invested billions of dollars in mitigation through a variety of Hazard Mitigation Assistance (HMA) grant programs. The state plays a pivotal role in building the resilience of communities by helping local governments apply for and implement these HMA grant programs. Despite the important role that the state plays to supplement local capacities and capabilities for acquiring and administering HMA grants, there is limited research that directly assesses the capacity of the state to meet the diverse needs of local communities while adhering to strict federal guidelines associated with HMA programs. This research addresses this gap by surveying State Hazard Mitigation Officers (SHMOs), who are responsible for the administration of HMA grants and serve as the liaison between local governments and FEMA, about their perceived state hazard mitigation capacity. In this comprehensive survey, we explore (1) the state’s engagement in HMA programs, (2) the assistance the state provides to local governments, (3) local and state commitment to hazard mitigation, and, (4) perceived local government needs, to include needs in low capacity communities. The results can point to strengths and deficiencies at the state level, which can ultimately help inform future training and policy to better cater to local needs. This research is timely, as FEMA is in the process of releasing their new pre-hazard mitigation grant program, Building Resilient Infrastructure and Communities (BRIC), which claims that one of its guiding principles include supporting communities through capability- and capacity-building initiatives. 

Georgia Halkia, University of California, Irvine
Sanjoy Mazumdar, University of California, Irvine
Lisa Grant Ludwig, University of California, Irvine

The Human Impact of Induced Earthquakes in Oklahoma

Wastewater is a byproduct of oil and gas production activities, and when injected in large volumes, under high pressure leads to induced seismicity. There is a lack of research on the human effects of induced earthquakes. The main goal of this research is to ask if these pose health risks for victims, making induced seismicity an unrecognized determinant of health. 

Field research was conducted in Oklahoma in 2019. The qualitative research methods employed snowball sampling. Such techniques seem to be ideal for reaching individuals living in hard to reach rural communities such as Pawnee and Cushing, Oklahoma. Saturation was reached after interviewing 28 participants, including key local stakeholders. Analysis of interview transcripts reveals three major themes: Experience of earthquakes affecting health, financial problem stresses, and governmental support. 

In Oklahoma, the impact of induced seismicity diverges significantly from natural earthquakes due to differences in the intensity and frequency of felt earthquake experiences. Our findings also reveal a relative lack of earthquake preparedness due to inexperience with this form of earthquake hazard, and concerns about lack of adequate communication by the authorities and experts. Delayed efforts to protect community members raised ethical questions and had emotional and economic implications for exposed individuals and communities. Future public health research is needed to understand how best to prepare communities for dealing with anticipated human-induced hazards.

Anmol Haque, Virginia Tech
Jennifer Irish, Virginia Tech
Yang Zhang, Virginia Tech

An Idealized Post-Disaster Recovery Study of a Coastal Community to Storm Hazards

Vulnerability holds a comparative definition of “a community’s ability to resist, cope with, anticipate, and recover from the impact of a natural or man-made hazard.” Post-disaster recovery, as an indicator of a community’s vulnerability to disasters, is a process perfect for studying the interdependencies between social characteristics and the built environment and integrate them in order to comprehensively and robustly assess the community’s risk in response to a storm event. Herein, a study is presented for an idealized representation of Hampton Roads, Virginia at the census block group level. We will consider 1) three synthetic storms from the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers North Atlantic Coastal Comprehensive Study for the storm surge hazard and physical damage assessment, 2) the various hypothetical conditions of social vulnerability, and 3) the built environment represented by the number of residential housing units. We anticipate that changes in housing occupancy in response to the disaster relates to interdependencies between damage, pre-existing social vulnerability, and pre-existing built environment. Herein, changes in housing occupancy will be represented as changes in housing units. Hence, a change in occupied housing units is assumed to be an indicator of a community’s ability to recover post-disaster. Therefore, this study will help to identify the dominant factors that influence community vulnerability to a storm hazard and help to build an integrated built-in environment and social vulnerability that also take into account the interdependencies between them.

Vicken Hillis, Boise State University

Technology Adoption in Flood Risk Management in Idaho

Flood frequency and intensity are expected to increase in the Western United States due to changes in the hydroclimatic cycle; however, many flood risk managers lack the updated topographic data needed to accurately predict their community’s flood risk. Light Detection and Ranging (lidar) has proven to be an effective technology for increasing the accuracy of floodplain maps due to the fine-scale of collection resolution of the earth's surface, typically one-meter. As of 2018, only 17% of the state of Idaho had been flown with lidar that could be publicly accessed. Several semi-structured interviews were conducted in order to identify potential factors that could be affecting lidar use such as risk preferences and perceptions, peer influence, and other structural barriers like a lack of funding. In addition, a survey instrument was used to understand the role these factors play in primary decision makers, including local and state flood risk managers, adoption of lidar. These findings will be used to assess current use of lidar for flood risk management, identify challenges to lidar adoption, and understand the drivers of lidar adoption. Our findings will generate knowledge that can guide program design and implementation of lidar for flood risk management.  

Khanh Ho, Vietnamese Health Board
Minh Wicham, Vietnamese Health Board
Dat Giap, Vietnamese Health Board
Kim Lundgreen, Vietnamese Health Board
Lea Ann Miyagawa, Vietnamese Health Board
Diem Nguyen, Vietnamese Health Board
Michelle Tran, Vietnamese Health Board
Christine Wilson Olsen, Vietnamese Health Board

Centering Vietnamese Culture and Lived Experiences in COVID-19 Risk Communication

The Washington State Senate Bill 5064 says, “all persons should be informed of emergency notifications in a manner in which they can understand.” During the COVID-19 pandemic, public health agencies are translating informational materials from English into multiple languages. Oftentimes, the information is not targeted and tailored to different audiences making it impossible or difficult to understand. Using community based participatory research principles, we questioned how to effectively communicate COVID-19 prevention and mitigation actions to the Vietnamese community. We found that centering Vietnamese culture and lived experiences in America would make the public service announcement most relatable to the audience. We found that people had a difficult time navigating websites and finding information only in written Vietnamese, hence we decided to produce a video using both Vietnamese and English languages in a storytelling format. We used fear appeals and efficacy statements to encourage adherence to public health guidance. We found that Vietnamese people do not fear death, they fear dying alone in a hospital. They are also concerned over COVID-19 restrictions on practicing traditional burial rites. We used these fears to communicate the ultimate consequences of contracting the disease. Finally, we encouraged practicing prevention and mitigation actions to reduce exposure to the disease. The actions include proper usage and care of face coverings, hand sanitation, physician distancing, and essential travel. Effective communication across different cultures and languages can enhance awareness and understanding while reducing risks of COVID-19.

Tiegan Hobbs, Geological Survey of Canada
Yavuz Kaya, British Columbia Ministry of Transportation
Murray Journeay, Geological Survey of Canada
Gurdeep Singh, GeoBC
Alison Bird, Natural Resources Canada
John Cassidy, Geological Survey of Canada
Joost van Ulden, Geological Survey of Canada
Drew Rotheram-Clarke, Geological Survey of Canada

Developing a Rapid Disaster Modelling Methodology for Earthquakes in British Columbia

This work presents a new initiative to develop a rapid disaster modelling protocol for earthquakes in British Columbia (BC), Canada. We will explore best practice and the feasibility of using rapidly available seismic data in the existing OpenQuake Canada framework to model the impacts to people, the built environment, and the economy. The current prototype will integrate observed ground motion data from the BC Smart Infrastructure Monitoring System with physical exposure data from Natural Resources Canada’s (NRCan) Human Settlement Layer to report on key metrics for early response: collapsed buildings, entrapment injuries, hospital demand surge, roadway debris which may block response, and immediate mass care needs like shelter requirements. These indicators will be ported to the GeoBC Common Operating Picture, the online portal for authoritative and coordinated distribution of emergency management information in the province. These outputs could likely be made available within tens of minutes of the earthquake occurring. Without this tool, municipalities would have to rely on reports from first responders, reconnaissance along disrupted roadways by emergency personnel, or aerial surveillance performed by the military. The latter is expected to take at least 12 hours, a crucial period following a major earthquake in which situational awareness can be vastly improved by our tool. The initiative is currently being led by NRCan, with partners from GeoBC, Emergency Management BC, and the BC Ministry of Transportation and Infrastructure.

Ryan Honerkamp, Missouri University of Science and Technology
Grace Yan, Missouri University of Science and Technology
Yi Zhao, Missouri University of Science and Technology
Zhi Li, Missouri University of Science and Technology

Lessons Learned from Jefferson City, Missouri Tornado of May 22, 2019 and Large-Scale Tornado Simulator of WHAM Lab

Tornadoes annually result in an average of one billion dollars of property loss and 90 deaths in the United States. The Jefferson City, Missouri tornado on 22 May 2019, an EF3 tornado, resulted in $139 million in damage and 33 injuries. Prior to the Jefferson City tornado, the 2015 International Building Codes were adopted by the city for residential, commercial, and existing buildings. At current, there are plans to update these codes as they pertain to roofing systems. The Jefferson City tornado aftermath was investigated by the authors and different failure modes were identified, which included the failure of connections between members and failure of cladding. These losses have inspired the implementation of a tornado-resistant design for normal building. To this effect, research into design tornadic wind loadings and a better understanding of the way buildings respond to tornadoes is needed to prevent future disasters. Unfortunately, very little field measured data exists that could be used to accomplish these goals, because of the destructive nature of tornadoes. To supplement the lack of data, a large-scale tornado simulator is under construction in the WHAM lab at the Missouri University of Science and Technology. This facility will be capable of generating tangential velocities of 19 m/s and translating speeds up to 0.762m/s. Computational fluid dynamics simulations have been performed on this simulator to predict the capability of the simulator, the wind field, and wind effects of tornadoes on buildings.

Katherine Hore, The University of Auckland
JC Gaillard, The University of Auckland
Gonevinaka Jane Leanda, Save the Children Fijij
Kalekana Research group, Kalekana DRR club
Lucy Kaiser, Massey University
David Johnston, Massey University

Children as Researchers: Child Centered Disaster Risk Reduction in Fiji

The concept of child-centered disaster risk reduction (CCDRR) has been receiving increasing focus in literature and the practice of child-focused agencies as a term to encompass a commitment that children can, and do, play an active role in reducing disaster risks. CCDRR includes values of both child participation and protection, acknowledging both their unique vulnerabilities and capacities, and seeking to create enabling environments in which children can be involved in the design and implementation of disaster risk reduction, fostering opportunities for children to express their views and analyze their own vulnerabilities and capacities. This poster presents research being undertaken in partnership with children of the village of Kalekana in Suva, Fiji, Save the Children (STC), The University of Auckland, and Massey University. A team of researchers and local children are working alongside a five-year CCDRR project being implemented by STC to identify effective, efficient, and scalable child led and child centered interventions and approaches to support risk reduction and resilience. A component of this research is seeking to involve children as local researchers using a combination of participatory methodologies. This poster outlines this research and presents methodological developments and challenges in involving children as researchers, and in fostering CCDRR. 

Barbora Hoskova, Boston College
Courtney A. Colgan, Boston College
Julia Medzhitova, Boston College
Parker Killenberg, Tufts University
Alexa Riobueno-Naylor, Boston College
Ann-Margaret Esnard, Georgia State University
Betty S. Lai, Boston College

Supporting Schools in the Disaster Context: How Policies Shape Recovery Resources

Disasters present a significant threat to the safety and development of approximately 56.6 million children attending elementary, middle, and high schools in the United States. Schools can serve as critical centers of post-disaster recovery. Therefore, adequate support for schools affected by disasters is essential. This poster will serve as a first step towards understanding the current state of disaster recovery support for students and schools in the United States. Using a social ecological framework, we will identify how current federal, state, and local policies shape disaster recovery resources available to schools in Florida, a state at high risk for natural disasters. Relevant policies will be disaster-applicable, and will be listed on federal, state, or local government websites. Specifically, we will focus on how disaster response laws and associated guidelines affect the type, accessibility, and availability of resources. Implications for research, policy, and resource management will be discussed. 

Seong Nam Hwang, Southeast Missouri State University
Venu Kannegalla, Southeast Missouri State University
Farzana Shahnewaz, Southeast Missouri State University

Relationships Between Potential Risk of Hazardous Material Releases and Socio-Economic Demographic Characteristics

Technological hazards can be defined as a threat to the natural and man-made environment including human beings and their properties, which results from various human actions such as producing, shipping, storing, and utilizing lethal or toxic chemical materials. This research is designed to investigate how scientifically estimated risk of hazardous material releases is associated with socio-economic, demographic characteristics at the levels of census tracts, cities, and counties. Two types of secondary data will be collected to conduct the research. One is the geospatial data showing each location of the industrial and federal facilities which are required to report to Environmental Protection Agency information about hazardous chemical releases through its Toxics Release Inventory program on a yearly basis. The other is the data about sociodemographic characteristics such as race, ethnicity, level of education, and income, which can be collected through the Bureau of Census. These data imported to ArcGIS will help us to analyze the effects of the potential health risk of toxic chemical releases on the communities in Texas. In particular, the research employing GIS-based spatial analysis will create maps that represent information on the geographic locations of the facilities dealing with hazardous materials as well as human populations and socioeconomic and demographic factors influenced by the potential risk of hazardous substances escaping into the environment.

Mehdi Jamali, Venesco
Ali Nejat, Texas Tech University
Saeed Moradi, Texas Tech University
Souparno Ghosh, University of Nebraska–Lincoln
Guofeng Cao, Texas Tech University

Social Media Data and Housing Recovery Following Extreme Natural Events

Identifying initiatives that influence the decision-making process of individuals in the aftermath of extreme natural events is a critical task in post-disaster recovery research. Due to the diversity of disaster-induced physical and psychosocial damage, as well as the complexity of human behavior, a comprehensive understanding of contributing factors requires a collective effort. The growth of social media platforms with millions of users provides researchers with an exceptional opportunity to conceptualize spatial patterns and communal behaviors. This longitudinal study proposes a multistep machine learning algorithm to understand such recovery decisions using social media data. Two publicly available databases, New York City tax lot data and 109 million geotagged tweets from the period October 2012–October 2014 were used to explore residents’ recovery decisions in the two years following Hurricane Sandy. The results reveal that communities with more tweets about social interactions and fewer tweets related to infrastructure and assets were more likely to rebuild rather than relocate.

Craig Jansen, University of Texas at Austin
Keith Strmiska, University of Texas at Austin
Maria Esteva, University of Texas at Austin
Elaina Sutley, University of Kansas
Nathanael Rosenheim, Texas A&M University

An Interactive Data Curation and Publication Pipeline for Interdisciplinary Researchers in Natural Hazards

We introduce a new pipeline to curate and publish field research data in DesignSafe ( a cloud platform for end-to-end data management and analysis for the Natural Hazards community. A main design requirement put forth by CONVERGE  ( ), responsible for the initiative of establishing this data publication venue, was that the pipeline should represent interdisciplinary perspectives around the study of natural disasters. From vision to implementation and evaluation, diverse and committed professionals contributed their ideas and time to this effort. To capture their experiences, we modeled narratives of how they conduct field research as workflows, and developed them as interactive interfaces that guide and aid users curating and publishing data. In this poster we show how we accomplished the proposed goals through: a) functions that allow interdisciplinary teams to manage their data from the field to publication, b) descriptive categories, and vocabularies in place to enable data organization and documentation, and c), a published data presentation that facilitates finding and understanding the datasets. Representing the larger team involved in this work, a group of us invite the community to explore the platform, and to contribute and share data publicly in DesignSafe.

Sangman Jeong, Kongju National University
Kukryul Oh, Urban Safety Company
Oubae Sim, Urban Safety Company
Sunghyun Lee, Urban Safety Company

An Analysis of Water Circulation Improvement Effect by the Application of LID

Low Impact Development (LID) techniques were utilized to solve urban water environment problems by quantitatively analyzing land use conditions and water circulation improvements through the Storm Water Management Model (SWMM) application. The Sangmu district, a development area in the Gwangju Metropolitan City, was selected as the study area. The LID techniques to improve the water circulation in the area were applied and the changes in the water balance and the reduction of non-point pollutants prior to and after the application of LID technology were analyzed.

The analyses were conducted by utilizing a time series of rainfall data from 2008 to 2017. Results for the water balance analysis showed that there has been a 51.5 percent reduction in surface runoff, 0.7 percent increase in evaporation and 60.1 percent increase in infiltration. Meanwhile, the analysis for the changes in non-point pollutants prior to and after the application of LID technology showed that BOD, TN, TP and TSS were significantly reduced, respectively. The results of this study showed that the LID technique could be applied to improve the water circulation and urban regeneration in the old downtown area.

Nathan Jeschke, Wayne State University
Stephanie Zarb, Wayne State University
Kristin Taylor, Wayne State University

The Role of Tabletop Exercises in Risk Perception and Mitigation

We know that experiencing disasters can reveal and change perception of future risk. This experience can make stakeholders more amenable to mitigating risk, but disasters are sporadic, dangerous, and costly. The lessons learned from disaster pose a problem: to learn stakeholders must experience the disaster. This study investigates whether it is possible for simulated disasters, such as a tabletop exercises, to influence risk perception in a way that is consistent with the effects of experiencing an actual disaster. To test this idea, we analyze survey data collected from an Environmental Protection Agency workshop of drinking water officials and public health stakeholders from southeast Michigan and northwest Ohio, including Detroit, Flint, and Toledo. The survey of participants was conducted before a tabletop exercise and after the tabletop exercise. The tabletop exercise was designed to simulate a large-scale drinking water disaster. Results suggest that tabletop exercises can shift participants perception of future risk, make them more inclined to increase interagency cooperation, and the extent to which that perception of risk changed varies based on the type of the respondent’s expertise.

Martin Joe, The University of Auckland

Fun, Friendly, and Functional: Opportunity for LEGO® Bricks to Foster Children’s Power

Practitioners in disaster risk reduction (DRR) continue to develop and use new tools in participatory processes to foster participation. These have centred mainly on fostering the inclusive participation of adults, at the exclusion of children. Children have, within them, unique knowledge and capacities that can contribute to a more holistic, comprehensive process of DRR. Thus, LEGO®, as a tool and a toy, presents an opportunity to facilitate children’s DRR and to allow them to express themselves in a more creative and inclusive way, and most importantly, LEGO® allows for the subversion of power relations in participatory processes. In education, active use of LEGO® spans decades of implementation in schools, universities, and workshops. Its use has enabled the balancing of power in environments in which it has been used with the elevation of learners and the de-elevation of teachers. This has allowed traditionally adult teachers to learn from traditionally children learners and has promoted children learners to teach others, to share their knowledge, and reinforce others’ capacities. Thus, this poster highlights the effectiveness of LEGO® in fostering children’s power.

Rebecca Kaiser, The George Washington University
Ibraheem Karaye, University of Delaware
Ya'u Adamu, Texas A&M University
Jennifer Horney, University of Delaware

Hemodialysis Clinics in Flood Zones: A Case Study of Hurricane Harvey

Flooding associated with Hurricane Harvey forced the closure of hemodialysis clinics across Houston and Harris County, Texas, disrupting essential dialysis services. We calculated the proportion of hemodialysis clinics flooded after Hurricane Harvey by flood-zone designation and assessed the sensitivity of the Federal Emergency Management Agency Flood Insurance Rate Maps (FIRMs). Data on 124 hemodialysis clinics in Harris County were extracted from and geocoded using ArcGIS Online. The FIRM was overlaid to determine the flood zone designation of each clinic. Flooded clinics were identified using inundation data from the Harris County Flood Control District (HCFCD). Telephone surveys were conducted on a subsample of clinics (n=28) to estimate the proportion of facilities closed in the aftermath of the hurricane. Twenty-one percent (26 of 124) of hemodialysis clinics in Harris County flooded after Harvey. Of those, 15 (57.7%) were in a high-risk flood zone (A and AE), eight (30.8%) were within one kilometer, and three (11.5%) were not located in or near a high-risk flood zone. In the subsample surveyed, the FIRM had a sensitivity of 10% while the HCFCD map had a sensitivity of 20%. Hurricanes are associated with severe disruptions of medical services, including hemodialysis. With 25% of Harris County in the 100-year floodplain and the prevalence of diabetes expected to double by 2040, increases in the frequency and severity of disasters and inadequate updates of flood maps mean that more regulation is needed to limit the future development of hemodialysis facilities in high-risk flood areas.

Fuminori Kawami, Doshisha University
Anna Matsukawa, Disaster Reduction and Human Renovation Institution
Shigeo Tatsuki, Doshisha University

Differential Impacts of Social Vulnerabilities on Housing Recovery

Housing recovery is one of the most important aspects of post-disaster recovery. As previous studies have shown, housing is not only the shelter, but also the foundation of recovery and normal activity. Therefore, the quicker and higher-quality housing recovery is required for household life recovery after disasters. However, various factors such as vulnerability, available resources for recovery and policies cause inequalities in the housing recovery. The current study aims to demonstrate that the impacts of social vulnerability variables on housing recovery were different between two cities. This study compared housing recovery trajectories in two cities affected by the Great East Japan Earthquake. Two data sets from Natori City and Sendai City were used for statistical analysis. Natori City data (N=936) consisted of the 2015 Natori City Life Recovery Population Survey Data and the entire record of temporary housing residency in Natori City. Sendai City data was open-source data (N=8,637) which is also the entire record of temporary housing residency. Housing recovery was measured by the time required for permanent housing recovery (from March 2011). Results showed that the impacts of social vulnerability variables such as family size and gender of the household head on housing recovery were clearly different between two cities. The variance of housing recovery trajectories in Sendai city was smaller than in Natori city. Finally, the effectiveness of disaster case management to close the gap among vulnerable households was discussed. 

Youn-Hee Kim, Dong-eui University
Sung-Hee Kim, Dong-eui University

Crisis Communication Practice under the COVID-19 Outbreak in South Korea

This research is to introduce crisis communication practices under COVID-19 in South Korea. The COVID-19 cases occurred from the approximately beginning of February in Korea and since then, the Korean government disseminated the COVID-19 related critical information using the Cellphone Broadcasting System (CBS) to alert the general public. CBS is a tool to push out informative messages to the citizens under the crisis situation and citizens who have their cell phones can receive the messages without additional subscriptions. In this research, we introduced the pros and cons of CBS in South Korea and provide descriptive information about messages. The CBS messages from seven metropolitan areas were collected through the official Korean government website from the beginning of February to the end of April. As a result, we categorized the CBS messages by three types: advisory, action-required, and travel log, and also counted and compared the three different types of outgoing messages by cities, sending time, density, and day. Addtionally, we compared the results to the number of occurred COVID-19 cases by months, weeks, and cities to investigate the relationship between the CBS outgoing message trend and the occurred cases in South Korea. Further researches are required to investigate the usefulness of CBS messages in terms of crisis communication in South Korea and how well it was received to the general public. 

Eric Kostecky, University of Toledo
Patrick Lawrence, University of Toledo

Impacts of 2019 High Water Levels on Great Lakes Parks and Protected Areas

In 2019, all five of the Great Lakes experienced record high water levels that surpassed previous levels held since 1985/86. Limited previous studies conducted following earlier events documented the impacts that associated flooding and erosion had on many parks and protected areas located along the shorelines of the Great Lakes. As a follow-up to that previous research, in October 2019 a short survey consisting of 10 questions was sent via Survey Monkey to 40 federal and state/provincial parks to examine the 2019 events and impacts. The questions addressed whether erosion or flooding occurred, the impacts to park infrastructure, closure of access, disruption of park operations and visitor services, and any associated direct or indirect costs. Responses were received from 29 parks with 50% impacted from both erosion and flooding, 60% of respondents indicated costs of $10,000-$50,000, visitor services and infrastructure were the most common impact, and 70% experienced interruptions to park services and programs. The results highlight operations and facilities that were directly impacted by shoreline flooding and erosion, plus initial assessment of immediate and subsequent direct and indirect financial costs and associated planning issues. Future impacts of high-water levels were to continue were also identified as a concern by 70% of respondents, with park budgets, visitor experiences, access, and damages to infrastructure noted. The study indicates that record Great Lakes high water levels in 2019 resulted in significant impacts to many parks and protected areas that present current and future challenges to continued operation and visitor experiences.

Jessica Lee, Texas A&M University
Shannon Van Zandt, Texas A&M University

Inequity in Stormwater Infrastructure Development: Findings from Neighborhoods in Houston, Texas

Stormwater infrastructure plays an important role in flood reduction by controlling stormwater runoff. Stormwater infrastructure is invested by municipalities through capital improvement plans. Capital improvement projects are prioritized based on budgets and neighborhood demands due to land use change, climate change, and infrastructure deterioration. A growing body of research has revealed the unfair stormwater infrastructure distribution across neighborhoods based on the racial/ethnic/income composition, as viewed through an environmental justice framework. However, current research is limited by the unit of analysis, and cannot capture the infrastructure development at the smaller level. To fill the gap, this study investigates the stormwater infrastructure distribution at the road segment level in diverse neighborhoods in Houston, Texas. Specifically, we address the following question: How are the capacity and condition of stormwater infrastructure within road segments different in neighborhoods with various socio-demographic compositions? To answer, we conduct a multiple-case comparison study to compare the infrastructure of road segments among various neighborhoods. A purposive sampling strategy is employed with a consideration of race/ethnicity, income, and types of stormwater infrastructure in census block groups, to select eight different neighborhoods. We hypothesize that non-white or lower income neighborhoods have more road segments with open ditches and fewer road segments with storm sewers for stormwater management. We also hypothesize that socially vulnerable neighborhoods have more road segments with outdated storm sewers. The findings of this study will have substantial implications for equitable stormwater management while developing flood mitigation strategies in capital improvement plans.

Qiuxi Li, University of Delaware
Tracy Deliberty, University of Delaware

Integrating Drone, Participatory Mapping, and GIS to Enhance Resiliency for Remote Villages

Though people in underdeveloped countries are impacted by frequent disasters, efforts to reduce risks and build resilience have been significantly hampered by the fact that people lack sufficiently detailed maps of their communities. In the absence of professional surveying instruments and high-cost, high spatial resolution statellite imagery, this study explores a low-cost mapping approach integrating drone captured imagery, participatory mapping, and Geographic Information System (GIS) techniques to create resiliency maps for remote villages where the region is almost undetectable from satellite images. This study focuses on specific communities inhabiting the thousands of ethnic villages in southwest China. These villages are known for their long history, ethnic culture, traditional wooden houses, as well as frequent fire accidents. The resilience map created is expected to provide detailed information of these villages which is of significance to many indigenous communities in the realms of disaster prevention, economic development, as well as cultural protection.

C-C. Rosie Lin, Jacksonville State University
H-C. Tristan Wu, University of North Texas
Haley Murphy, Oklahoma State University
Shih-Kai Huang, Jacksonville State University

College Students’ Tornado Risk Information Preferences

Understanding individuals’ risk information preferences are important to improve risk communication during different warning phases. The protective action decision model suggests people’s pre-decision process has an impact on their protective action decisions. Thus, this study aims to investigate individuals’ information search patterns under different phases of a tornado threat. To study this, we designed an experiment that used DynaSearch to simulate a tornado scenario and recruited college students from Oklahoma State University to participate in the study. The tornado scenario includes six severe storm advisories that simulate the development of a tornado threat (thunderstorm watch to tornado warning). The findings suggest, overall, participants are interested in graphic risk information such as storm polygon and doppler radar images. They also believe written messages such as distance to their current location, storm watch/warning, and storm location are important. This study further investigates how participants change their risk information search patterns when the threat develops from a thunderstorm watch to a tornado warning. The data shows that when the threat is not a tornado warning, participants are interested in storm warning/watch information and doppler radar images. Also, they spend more time checking information that shows potential impacted locations, protective action recommendations, and images that include both storm polygon and doppler radar images. When the situation escalates to a tornado warning, they start to pay more attention to storm current location, potential impact, protective action recommendations, and a window view that shows their neighborhood houses and sky.

Stacy Lynn, Colorado State University
Gregory Newman, Colorado State University
Dani Lin Hunter, Colorado State University
Sarah Newman, Colorado State University

Citizen Science Support for Natural Hazards Preparation, Documentation, and Recovery Action

Citizen science provides a way for people on the ground to engage with their communities to build connections; actively prepare for natural hazards; detect, geographically locate and document hazard impacts; and plan for recovery action. One of the ways that citizen science can assist with these processes is through the technological support provided by existing citizen science platforms. Our platform,, provides a resource for groups to mobilize and act upon their concerns about or experiences with natural hazards they are facing, bringing capacity to groups who may not have the technical expertise or financial support to develop a platform or app on their own. Leaders can act upon the vision and needs of their communities to ensure that they have the options necessary to be resilient in a time of hardship and uncertainty. Citizen science platforms such as provide the tools for communities to document concerns and observations related to environmental and other risks, to record data directly related to an ongoing hazard event and its outcomes for community members, to plan a course of recovery action, and finally to compile a community-driven story of experiences with hardship and resilience. This process allows these stories to be told from within the community, bringing hope and power to those who lived the experience first-hand or who work collaboratively with those who did, weaving a web that harnesses the community’s broader vision for the future.

Melina Matos, Texas A&M University
Phillip Gilbertson, Arizona State University
Sierra Woodruff, Texas A&M University
Sara Meerow, Arizona State University
Malini Roy, Texas A&M University
Bryce Hannibal, University of Utah

Hazard Mitigation vs. Climate Change Adaptation Plans–Are There Overlaps Between Plans? A Case Study of Boston

In response to the increasing loss of life and property due to flooding, the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) requires that cities and counties develop Hazard Mitigation Plans (HMP) every five years to identify hazard risks and develop strategies to mitigate those threats. Climate Adaptation Plans, on the other hand, aim to reduce the long-term impacts of a changing climate. Conceptually, both climate adaptation and HMP anticipate extreme flood events and address them through mitigation strategies. However, empirical evidence shows that these two planning approaches appear quite different concerning who plans, against what risk, and through what tools. Despite the differences, there is considerable opportunity for integration, since they have complementary goals. With limited time and resources, there is a need to understand the opportunities and limitations of these planning approaches. Using Boston, a leader in climate change adaptation, as a case study, we compare and contrast the role of these two types of plans and their spatial implications to flooding. We assess the plans’ background, content, and strategies they use to mitigate flood. Although the results confirm some previous findings, such as adaptation plans primarily focus on hazards that will be impacted by climate change, and HMP gives a detailed information of the past, it also shows that HMP is incorporating climate change concerns. Nevertheless, the type of policies each plan establishes to mitigate flood is distinct. Therefore, it is crucial to find a win-win strategy and better align hazard mitigation and adaptation approaches.

Anna Matsukawa, Disaster Reduction and Human Renovation Institution
Fuminori Kawami, Doshisha University
Aya Tsujioka, Doshisha University
Junko Murano, Beppu City
Shigeo Tatsuki, Doshisha University

Impact Evaluation of Capacity-Building Model of People with Disabilities in Disasters Times

This study evaluated the impact of the capacity-building model for people with disabilities in times of disasters by using propensity score matching. Older and/or disabled people have been known to suffer more severe damages in disasters. One solution is to involve social workers who make plans for everyday living needs during normalcy and to ask them to prepare disaster care plans simultaneously. This “disaster care planning” approach was launched in Beppu city in 2016 that led to the standard operation procedure (SOP) for assessment, informal human resources matching, and disaster response simulation during disaster drills. In 2018, Hyogo prefecture initiated the Beppu-model SOP utilization grant program. The evaluation is performed using the disaster literacy scale by the IPW method. A treatment group is a group of persons with disabilities who created a disaster care plan and examined there plan experimentally in evacuation drills. A control group is a group of persons with disabilities who did not participate in disaster care planning or evacuation drills.

Charleen McNeill, East Carolina University
Betsy Garrison, University of Arkansas
Timothy Killian, University of Arkansas

Measuring Community Resilience: An Empirical Evaluation of Two Instruments

The construct of community resilience is increasing in relevance. Communities’ attempts to recover from disasters will be strengthened if their efforts are guided by accurate evidence about their resilience and the components that underlie community resilience. However, the construct of community resilience is multi-dimensional and without a common definition. This research focuses on two widely used empirical approaches to measure community resilience: The Conjoint Community Resilience Assessment Measure (CCRAM) and the Communities Assessing Resilience Toolkit (CART). Researchers investigated whether there was a single emergent construct that unified the two instruments or separate, but related constructs. Additionally, comparative psychometric properties of the two measures was examined. Our results indicate the CCRAM and the CART do not measure the same unifying construct; rather, they each represent their own separate, yet related unifying factors. The individual latent variables in the CCRAM and the CART have generally acceptable psychometric properties and the variables from each instrument can be summarized into a unifying factor that represents each instrument, but not a single unifying factor across both instruments. Current research provides evidence that community resilience is a nebulous concept understood differently by different groups. Complicating measurement is that components of the construct of community resilience may be influenced by the community interactions as a collective unit and expressions of a sense of community. This study provides further evidence that the science of Community Resilience continues to grapple with defining and operationalizing this critical construct.

Saeed Moradi, Texas Tech University
Ali Nejat, Texas Tech University

RecovUS: An Agent-Based Model of Post-Disaster Household Recovery

The housing sector is an important part of every community. It directly affects people, constitutes a major share of building market, and shapes the community. Meanwhile, increase of developments in hazard-prone areas along with the intensification of extreme events have amplified the potential for disaster-induced losses. Consequently, housing recovery is of vital importance to the overall restoration of a community. In this relation, recovery models can help with devising data-driven policies that can better identify pre-disaster mitigation needs and post-disaster recovery priorities through predicting the possible outcomes of different plans. Although several recovery models have been proposed, there are still gaps in the understanding of how decisions made by individuals and different entities interact to output recovery. Additionally, integrating spatial aspects of recovery is a missing key in many models. The current research proposes a spatial model for simulation and prediction of homeowners’ recovery decisions through incorporating recovery drivers that could capture interactions of individual, communal, and organizational decisions. RecovUS is a spatial agent-based model for which all the input data can be obtained from publicly available data sources. The model is illustrated and validated using the data on recovery of Staten Island, New York after the 2012 Hurricane Sandy. The results confirm that combination of internal, interactive, and external drivers of recovery affect households’ decisions and shape the pattern of recovery. 

Katie Oven, Northumbria University
Nick Rosser, Durham University
Shubheksha Rana, Independent Researcher
Gopi Krishna Basyal, Durham University
Mark Kincey, Durham University

Science, Policy and the Everyday Realities of Landslide Risk in Post-Earthquake Nepal

Landslides are a pervasive hazard in rural Nepal where the impacts are manifest in very tangible ways: as a chronic threat to both lives and livelihoods; and via damage to or destruction of houses, farmland, roads, and trails. While people are very much aware of the causes and triggering mechanisms of landslides and have developed their own ways of reducing the risks they face, gaps in local knowledges exist. This is particularly the case when the hazard context itself evolves, for example, following a high magnitude earthquake which brings new behaviours to otherwise familiar landscapes. The 2015 Gorkha earthquake, which triggered over 22,000 landslides, the equivalent of many years of ‘normal’ landsliding, is a case in point. Some land has gone, some is uninhabitable, and in some places the risks are unknown and perhaps unknowable. Householders are rebuilding and are seeking definitive answers to their questions and concerns, but science remains some distance from being able to provide an answer, and government lacks technical capacity to respond. This uncertainty is compounded further by local politics and a strong attachment to place which cannot be ignored. We explore how landslide risk is understood and managed in the context of post-disaster reconstruction from the perspective of scientists, government and rural residents. In doing so, we highlight the value of bringing seemingly incompatible perspectives, generated from very different epistemological positions, into dialogue for more effective risk management.

Vincent Paquin, McGill University
Suzanne King, McGill University
Guillaume Elgbeili, Douglas Mental Health University Institute
David P. Laplante, Lady Davis Institute for Medical Research
Alain Brunet, McGill University
Michael O'Hara, University of Iowa
James Pennebaker, University of Texas at Austin
Rebecca Lipshutz, University of Houston
David Olson, University of Alberta
Johanna Bick, University of Houston

Efficacy of Expressive Writing to Reduce Post-Disaster Distress: The Harvey Mom Study

There is a need for accessible interventions aimed at fostering individual resilience following disasters. Expressive writing consists of journaling trauma-related thoughts and feelings over four daily sessions. To examine its efficacy in reducing post-traumatic stress symptoms, we conducted the largest randomized controlled trial of this intervention to date. We recruited 1,058 women exposed to the flooding from Hurricane Harvey during pregnancy or up to six months before conception. Participants were randomized (1:1:1) to internet-based expressive writing, neutral writing, or no writing. Post-traumatic stress, depression and anxiety symptoms were self-reported at baseline and at two months post-intervention using well-validated scales. Daily post-writing experiences were self-reported during the intervention. Intention-to-treat analyses of covariance (on multiply imputed datasets) and linear mixed models were adjusted for baseline scores. We found that expressive writing did not reduce post-traumatic stress symptoms compared to neutral writing (d = 0.10 [95% CI: -0.07, 0.27]) or no writing (d = 0.05 [95% CI: -0.11, 0.21]). Likewise, no between-group differences were found in the depression and anxiety scales. However, expressive writing resulted in more daily post-writing sadness and anxiety compared to neutral writing. In conclusion, expressive writing was found to be ineffective in reducing distress in women affected by a disaster around the time of pregnancy. Instead, expressive writing was associated with psychological discomfort in the moment, although its clinical significance is unclear. Important insights were gained about post-disaster online interventions.

Katherine Pedersen, University of Washington
Nicole Errett, University of Washington
Himanshu Grover, University of Washington
Youngjun Choe, University of Washington

Documenting the Impact of Lifeline Service Disruptions on Healthcare System Performance Following Earthquakes Since 2000: A Reconnaissance Report Analysis

Earthquakes impact millions of people worldwide, leading to an increased need for an effective and efficient healthcare response. Due to their heavy reliance on external lifeline services, hospitals are particularly vulnerable to decreased functionality post-earthquake when they are needed most. This research assesses if and how reconnaissance reporting has covered the impacts lifeline service disruptions have had on healthcare system performance for earthquakes magnitude 6.0 and greater since 2000. Utilizing content analysis methods, 104 publicly available post-earthquake reconnaissance reports covering 50 earthquake events were assessed for information on lifeline service impacts, overall functionality, and evacuations of area hospitals and healthcare systems. This research found that lifeline service disruptions can impact hospital and healthcare system functionality, and hospital and healthcare system evacuations occurred the majority of the time for included earthquake events. This research highlights the lack of consistent and high quality reporting of lifeline service disruptions to hospital and healthcare system performance post-earthquake. Due to this lack of reported information, a number of recommendations on critical research gaps around data quality and standardization to better prepare for healthcare impacts following future earthquake events are proposed.

Lori Peek, Natural Hazards Center
Jessica Austin, Natural Hazards Center
Heather Champeau, Natural Hazards Center

Social Science Extreme Events Research (SSEER) Network and Web Map

The National Science Foundation (NSF)-funded Social Science Extreme Events Research (SSEER) network was formed, in part, to respond to the need for more specific information about the status and expertise of the social science hazards and disaster research workforce. Core to the mission of SSEER is to identify and map social scientists involved in hazards and disaster research to highlight their expertise and connect social science researchers to one another, to interdisciplinary teams, and to communities at risk to hazards and affected by disasters. The goal of SSEER is to amplify the contributions of social scientists, to advance the field through expanding the available social science evidence base, and to enhance collective wellbeing. The SSEER web map is free to access at: The map highlights SSEER researchers by geographic location and includes their organizational affiliations, job titles, disciplinary foci, methodological expertise, the types of hazards they study, the events they have researched, and keywords that highlight their expertise. The map is designed to serve as a resource for connecting researchers, practitioners, and policy makers to advance ethically-grounded disaster research and move it into action. When disaster strikes, the map can also be invaluable in identifying locally-affected researchers to ensure that they are recognized and included in post-disaster research efforts. If you are a social or behavioral scientist who studies hazards and disasters and are interested in joining the SSEER network, you can do so by following this link:

Jason Pudlo, Oral Roberts University

Measuring the State of Disaster Preparedness among Houses of Worship

Communities and governments often partner with faith-based organizations during disaster response. Yet, how prepared are individual congregations for crisis? Answers are sought across two lines of inquiry. First, how have individual congregations prepared for disasters that may affect them directly? Second, how connected are houses of worship to formal and informal disaster response networks in their community? The mixed methods research design consists of an original grant-supported survey of approximately 300 congregational leaders followed by 30 semi-structured interviews. The study demonstrates that this research approach enriches the interaction between communities and researchers through the co-creation of deep data. This study also shows how mixed methods can help to overcome some challenges for those working with hard-to-access populations. Uniquely, this study was fielded months before the coronavirus pandemic (COVID-19) and contains questions on pandemic preparedness. Preliminary findings suggest that congregations are aware of their regional hazards. However, most congregations do not have a disaster plan due to limited organizational capacity or a lack of information. To better understand these dynamics in houses of worship, a unique score of disaster preparedness was created for the study. Notably, stronger network connections to local emergency managers or faith-based disaster partners improves disaster preparedness in a statistically meaningful way. This is true for both formal and informal networking even after controlling for limited organizational capacity. The study concludes that modest efforts in promoting disaster preparedness and building relational networks could result in substantial improvements in the state of disaster preparedness among houses of worship.

Carlee Purdum, Texas A&M University
Fayola Jacobs, University of Minnesota
Benika Dixon, Texas A&M University
Darien Williams, Massachusetts Institute of Technology
Richard Thomas, Fight Toxic Prisons
Sloan Rucker, Fight Toxic Prisons

No Justice, No Resilience: Abolition of Police and Prisons as Hazard Mitigation

Mass criminalization and incarceration is an ongoing crisis in the United States and across the world. In the midst of the increasing impacts of climate change, prison systems are anticipating a future in which rates of incarceration increase beyond even today’s historic highs.  Research has shown that law enforcement and the carceral system disproportionately target communities we know to be most vulnerable to hazards and disasters across social, economic, and political metrics. These communities are made up of racial and ethnic minorities, low-income families, and people living in spatially isolated and marginal settings. These populations, especially racial and ethnic minorities, reflect the majority of those subject to violence and punishment by the state. Furthermore, policing and incarceration increase the social vulnerability of both the individuals and the communities from which they are drawn by disrupting social capital and community cohesion, increasing barriers to housing and employment, and increasing fee and debt burden. For this poster, we will explore how police and prisons operate during disasters, draw attention to how these institutions propagate the issues disaster practitioners attempt to address, and invite the reader to imagine alternative worlds. In doing so, we tackle myths about the true meaning of abolition and the importance of centering abolition work in the fields of emergency management and disaster studies.

Mohammad Mahbubur Rahman, Network on Climate Change, Bangladesh
Md. Tarak Aziz, University of Dhaka
Sharaban Nasmi, Velos Tek Limited
Maliha Momotaj Himu, Jahangirnagar University
Md. Saiful Islam, Jahangirnagar University

Impact of COVID-19 Pandemic on Livelihoods and Food Security in Bangladesh

The COVID-19 pandemic has significant global impacts on people's livelihoods, food, and nutritional needs. Rather, numerous actions in place, current trends indicate that the outbreak is likely to spread further and have major implications for the economy as well as for livelihoods and food security. Like in other parts of the world, Bangladeshi people are rapidly shifting their livelihoods and access to food and nourishment supplies is also affected after the pandemic. Therefore, the current study examined the impact of the coronavirus pandemic on food security, livelihood and household vulnerability in Bangladesh. To this end, we have investigated how the COVID-19 pandemic has influenced Bangladesh's food security, nutrition, and livelihood system. We have also analyzed the community's market structure; household market access; and examined food, nutrition and other critical daily commodity availability in the market. Finally, we made policy recommendations to promote the establishment of a comprehensive response system to combat challenges in ensuring food security during an entirely new contagion situation. We used an exploratory research methodology utilizing both primary and secondary data. A random online survey of residences and a detailed interview with relevant experts captured the primary data. Furthermore, literature reviews of published and unpublished articles and grey literature had been compiled as a source of secondary information. The study found that most households were vulnerable to food insecurity, income and nutrition deficiency. This study could enable other countries to take effective policy reforms to deal with food insecurity and livelihood challenges during a pandemic.

Pranjali Rai, University of Washington
Himanshu Grover, University of Washington

Area-specific Annual Average Temperature Rise in United States

The disparity in temperature rise at local and regional level due to climate change are not properly understood and integrated in hazard mitigation planning. The global average temperature rise scenarios are widely known and used by policymakers around the world. But, there are many places that are already facing greater than two degrees Celsius temperature rise from their historic long-term average. This varying increase in temperature due to climate change has the potential to significantly modify the dynamics of whether at local and regional scale, which will have huge implications for local risk assessment and mitigation planning for hazards caused by extreme weather and climate events. In this project, we visualize the annual average temperature rise across contiguous United States using the National Oceanic and Atmosphere Administration’s temperature data, which provides monthly average temperature information from 1895 to present for gridded points at five by five km distance. Based on this information we predict annual average temperature rise using time-series data analysis for each point to create a temperature rise raster dataset of the contiguous US. In our poster, we will present details related to the temperature forecast model and the methodology used to develop this dataset. We will share our experiences in using parallel processing techniques designed for big-data analysis to create this dataset. Our work on area-specific temperature rise visualizations can help local communities to mitigate the impact of extreme weather and climate induced events. It can also inform their adaptation actions to improve community-wide infrastructure.

Vageeswar Rajaram, Northeastern University
Sungho Kang, Northeastern University
Zhenyun Qian, Northeastern University
Matteo Rinaldi, Northeastern University

Zero Power Wireless Flame Sensors for Ubiquitous and Persistent Remote Fire Monitoring

The need to prevent fire-related tragedies like the 2018 California wildfires have highlighted a growing demand to deploy large-scale remote fire monitoring systems with a high granularity at various locations that are subject to an elevated fire risk. However, none of the existing fire detection technologies are suitable for the implementation of such highly distributed wireless fire monitoring systems due to the prohibitive cost associated with ownership, installation, and maintenance of large networks of fire detectors. The fundamental technical challenge lies in the continuous power consumption of current state-of-the-art fire sensor technologies, which results in a short battery lifetime, limited to very few months, preventing large scale deployment due to the associated unsustainable costs of maintenance (i.e. frequent battery replacement). In the work presented here, we describe a first-of-its-kind micromechanical flame sensor that consumes near-zero power in standby until awakened by the specific infrared signature emitted by a flame. The miniaturized battery-powered wireless flame detector node can last up to ten years without changing the battery and it can be easily retrofitted to address multiple deployment needs, completely eliminating the need for wiring. This disruptive flame detection technology will allow customers (e.g. government agencies, property owners, aircraft manufacturers, and construction companies) to deploy always-alert and addressable fire sensor networks virtually anywhere by dramatically reducing the cost associated with sensor hardware, installation and maintenance.

Sebastian Rowan, University of New Hampshire
Kyle Kwiatkowski, University of New Hampshire

Assessing the Relationship Between Social Vulnerability, Social Capital, and Housing Resilience

This study evaluates the effectiveness of using indicators of social vulnerability and social capital in disaster risk and recovery assessment. These factors have been shown to influence how severely communities are impacted by natural hazards as well as how quickly and equitably they recover. Previous studies have developed indices to quantify these factors with publicly available data, however, little empirical research exists using data from specific disaster events to validate these indices. Such research is needed to support the use of these indices in pre-disaster planning and decision making. Using data from the Federal Emergency Management Agency, this study evaluates the effectiveness of two established indices of social vulnerability and social capital to predict impacts on housing infrastructure in Puerto Rico following Hurricane Maria in 2017. This study also introduces a novel method for tracking the recovery of housing infrastructure after a disaster through the analysis of aerial imagery in Google Earth. Imagery analysis to link the indices to recovery outcomes is ongoing, however, both indices of social vulnerability and social capital have shown a significant correlation with initial housing impacts (p <.05). These findings support the use of these indices as screening tools to identify less resilient communities and to assist in disaster planning and adaptation efforts geared towards improving disaster recovery outcomes. The imagery analysis method will also inform future research of the disaster recovery process, reducing the need for numerous costly site visits.

Wendy Saunders, GNS Science
Gavin Smith, North Carolina State University

A Comparative Review of Hazard-Prone Housing Acquisition Laws, Policies, and Programs in the United States and Aotearoa, New Zealand

There is no one action that will reduce risks from natural hazards; a combination of actions is required for effective risk management and enhancing the resilience of at-risk communities. These include: land use planning, emergency management, insurance, catchment management, monitoring and warning systems, structural engineering, infrastructure provision, and building codes. Property acquisition should be used as a last resort option; ideally, good land use planning should proactively locate activities out of significant hazard areas, or have mitigation measures in place to reduce the consequences of events. Research is underway comparing the laws, policies, and programs guiding hazard-prone housing acquisition programs in the United States and Aotearoa, New Zealand. The two nations were selected because they both possess mature disaster management programs, somewhat similar, yet sufficiently different, governance structures; significant exposure to differing natural hazard types; and varied approaches taken to address the many challenges associated with the acquisition of hazard-prone housing. This poster will provide a general overview of the hazard-prone housing acquisition process, followed by a comparative overview of the laws, policies, and programs found in the United States and Aotearoa New Zealand. These include pre-event planning, funding strategies, open space management rules, climate change adaptation requirements, building code compliance, and equity concerns. A series of policy recommendations is made, to address identified opportunities for improvement, including cross-cultural lesson-drawing which will also be useful for other countries implementing buyout programs.

Blake Scott, University of South Florida
Beatrice Smith, University of South Florida
Megan Montoya, University of South Florida
Ahlam Farzan, University of South Florida
Melanie Cruz, University of South Florida
Elizabeth Dunn, University of South Florida
Mitchell Jaskela, University of South Florida
Santiago Hernandez Bojorge, University of South Florida
Madeleine LaGoy, University of South Florida
Nicholas Thomas, University of South Florida
Anthony Masys, University of South Florida
Jennifer Marshall, University of South Florida

Recommendations for Improving Emergency Preparedness During Hurricanes for Pregnant Women and Families

In recent years Florida has been impacted by several hurricanes, some causing catastrophic damage. Pregnant women, families, and children with special health care needs are populations that are particularly vulnerable to natural disasters. A qualitative analysis was conducted on 15 interviews and focus groups with 35 participants. These interviews included 13 parents and 22 professionals involved in response efforts that were asked about the strengths, challenges, and gaps in the systems that support these populations. Results highlighted the importance of interagency communication and collaboration, effective public messaging, tailored preparedness for medical needs and evacuation, and the need for social services and economic resources post-storm. Recommendations that emerged from this analysis are that: systems should be in place to connect new mothers to emergency preparedness resources, whether through their health care provider or social services; emergency shelters should attend to the needs of this population in terms of comfort, safety, and health; hospital triage systems should be strengthened and lastly, annual internal disaster drills should be conducted. Additionally, it was found that social networks should be engaged before and after a disaster to increase communication and support to vulnerable populations. These recommendations have been submitted to stakeholders with the hope of implementation, ultimately establishing increased resilience within these populations to reduce the impact of natural disasters. 

Kevin Smiley, Louisiana State University

Racial Inequalities in Flooding Inside and Outside of Floodplains during Hurricane Harvey

While previous research often finds flood impacts outside of conventional flood risk zones such as Federal Emergency Management Agency’s 100-year floodplain maps, we have less of a sense of the social and demographic composition of the areas outside of floodplains that experience these impacts, even though social inequalities in flood risk and impacts more broadly is well-documented in the United States. Using data on 100-year floodplains, flood impacts, socio-demographic characteristics, and residential parcels, this study focuses on race as a primary marker of socio-spatial inequality to examine flooding inside and outside of floodplains during Hurricane Harvey in Greater Houston. Descriptive findings show that a large majority of flooding occurred outside of 100-year floodplains. Regression models show that while there is limited evidence of racial inequalities in flood risk as conceptualized as location in 100-year floodplains, there are substantial racial inequalities in flood extent during Hurricane Harvey. Results further show that these overall racial inequalities in flood extent are primarily driven by impacts that occurred outside of 100-year floodplains. Conclusions center on how and why conventional delineations of flood risk can underestimate racial inequalities to natural hazards.

Nora Smithhisler, U.S. Geological Survey
Nina Burkardt, U.S. Geological Survey
Kristin Ludwig, U.S. Geological Survey
Dale Cox, U.S. Geological Survey

SAFRR Scenario Evaluation: Disaster Risk Reduction and the Culture of Preparedness

This poster, designed for the 45th Annual Natural Hazards Research and Application Workshop, will describe the Science Application for Risk Reduction (SAFRR) Scenario Evaluation project in progress. The four SAFRR scenarios—ShakeOut, ARkStorm, Tsunami Scenario, and HayWired—are complex natural hazards scenarios created by multi-disciplinary teams of scientists, academics, practitioners, and stakeholders. The scenarios are intended to create a clear and highly detailed view of potential damage from earthquakes, tsunamis, and winter storms, enabling science-based preparedness strategies and innovations. This evaluation seeks to explore the presence of these scenarios in the culture of preparedness and their contributions to how we view disaster risk reduction (DRR) today. To do this, the evaluation team developed a mixed- methods study that includes background research for each scenario, qualitative interviews, and data collection and analytics. Some preliminary findings show correlations between increased media mentions of a scenario whenever there is the corresponding hazard event, and that participating in scenario development encourages action and investment from stakeholders. The evaluation team is also creating a DRR scenario evaluation tool that combines theories from multiple disciplines to create a “best practice” set of categories that a DRR scenario needs to maximize effectiveness. This tool will be used to identify areas of success or gaps in efficacy in the SAFRR scenarios and could be used to aid scenario planning moving forward.

Jessamin Straub, U.S. Army Corps of Engineers
Katherine Chambers, U.S. Army Corps of Engineers
Joshua Murphy, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration

Recommendations for a Resilient Path Forward for the Marine Transportation System

The Marine Transportation System (MTS) plays a critical role in United States (U.S.) commerce and security, facilitating the movement of over two billion tons of goods annually. As the infrastructure, technological, and management systems that support the MTS evolve, the best practices for the preservation of these functions throughout weather and climate disruptions must be kept current and collaborative. The MTS is particularly susceptible to the impacts of coastal storms such as the major hurricanes in 2017, 2018, and 2019. Furthermore, ports and the marine transportation system play a key role in the recovery of the surrounding region after disruption, facilitating the mobilization of response and recovery and the delivery of life-sustaining commodities for impacted communities. To foster collaboration and improve understanding around evolving storm season challenges, the U.S. Committee on the Marine Transportation System’s Resilience Integrated Action Team has served as a platform to gather relevant federal agencies to contribute impacts, best practices, and lessons learned. Participants in this effort included representatives from over 12 Federal agencies who had direct knowledge of their agency’s actions to assist in the response and recovery efforts following hurricanes. Agencies were tasked to identify challenges and successes they faced during storms and to identify and prioritize recommendations to minimize the impact from future storms and other disruptive events. This work outlines the findings across each storm season to determine if these challenges have been addressed and the best practices adopted, and to make recommendations to enhance the future resilience of the MTS.

Sharon Strover, University of Texas at Austin
Maria Esteva, University of Texas at Austin
Soyong Park, University of Texas at Austin

Exploring Ethics in the Lifecycle of Natural Hazards Open Data

Data and the systems that manage it are not neutral but, instead, are part of the process that affects research and practice. In the natural hazards field, open data is used to study and predict disasters, improve structural and social resilience, and make risk management decisions, increasingly using Artificial Intelligence (AI). Throughout the process, researchers face ethical dilemmas that may be embedded in, and communicated through data and into the results, including lack of transparency and biases. This poster introduces the methodology and preliminary results of a study conducted to identify ethical issues in the creation, analysis, storage, and distribution of open natural hazards data, and their implications for responsible AI applications. The study involved quantitative analysis of social science and engineering datasets as well as interviews with a spectrum of organizations and agents that produce, manage, analyze and consume this data. Tensions between best practices and financial constraints, professional values and academic incentives, protection of privacy, and the availability of security solutions, among others, are emergent ethical themes. Mapped to the research lifecycle stages, the themes represent the values, the risks, the rewards, and the collaboration contexts of data practices. Results suggest that data producers, consumers, and organizations have some differing notions about ethical data management, and that more coordination would benefit the data eco-system. The goal of this project is to deliver a decision-making framework to guide ethical data practices. While focused on AI applications, the results can inform broader data management practices in the natural hazards space. 

Jaimlyn Sypniewski, Two Bears Environmental Consulting
Ronni Wilcock, Two Bears Environmental Consulting

Flipside of Environmental Impact Statements: Indexing Risks the Environment Poses to Projects

The Integrated Climate Resilience Index (ICRI) is used in a similar capacity as an Environmental Impact Statement, with the exception that the ICRI addresses the impact of the environment on the project and seeks to minimize failure or damage to existing or new developments or infrastructure due to future climates. ICRI integrates biophysical sensitivities with socio-economic factors to predict the holistic impacts on a project; for example, increased water use for agriculture during a drought, which affects water availability for mining, or disruptions on the supply chain due to road damage caused by extreme events. The ICRI represents an integrated and dynamic risk index. The higher the index, the greater the risk. As future climates change, the index is updated, allowing the index to be a living product, and providing changes in potential risks over the next century. Communities, businesses, decision-makers, and other stakeholders can do ‘what-if scenarios’ to explore how their actions may alter the index. ICRI can assist in the selection of new building sites or to modify building criteria to reduce risks or achieve acceptable risks. The ICRI helps to develop and monitor “tipping points,” or the points were a risk moves from acceptable to unacceptable. By understanding the potential timing of these tipping points, it is possible to respond promptly, potentially avoiding system failures. The ICRI adapts to environmental changes and can be updated as climate or stakeholder needs evolve. For example, once the defined tipping points are reached, and acceptable risk shifts to unacceptable. 

Kensuke Takenouchi, Kyoto University
Motohiro Honma, Japan Weather Association
Katsuya Yamori, Kyoto University
Yasushi Suzuki, Japan Weather Association

Simulated Real-Time Training Tool and Exercises for Disaster Response

In Japan, we have various disasters in a given year. When residents experience a disaster in their communities, they often show paradoxical feelings that include thinking a disaster couldn't have happened to them. To improve this situation and educate residents of their true disaster risk, the authors have developed real-time training tools for exercises to check disaster response. This tool uses results of various disaster simulations. In the future, increases in extreme disasters due to global warming have been forecasted. This tool can help to explore the unknown climate environment of the future through web-based simulations.

In a pre-survey, this study verified effects by showing movies on weather related disasters using this tool, and had three trials for residents to consider their disaster responses. The results showed that this tool can work efficiently for simulating disaster cases to show how and when residents respond. 

In a future study, the authors will develop methods and training to use this web-based tool to prepare for future disasters. 

Hoang Tao, University of New Orleans
Monica Farris, University of New Orleans

Repetitive Flood Loss Area Analysis for the City of New Orleans

In 2005, Katrina flooded a large portion of New Orleans, which demonstrated the high flood risk within the city. Beyond hurricane-related flooding, everyday storms have shown that many local residents are victims of repetitive flood loss due to stormwater runoff. The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) defines a repetitive loss property as an insurable building for which two or more claims of +$1000 were paid by the National Flood Insurance Program within any ten years. There are 6,534 repetitive loss properties in New Orleans, resulting in +$837 million in damage payments since 1978. A better understanding of repetitive flood loss throughout New Orleans is needed in order to assist in the development of best planning practices for the reduction of flood risk. In partnership with the City of New Orleans and the Department of Housing and Urban Development, the University of New Orleans-Center for Hazards Assessment, Response & Technology (CHART) is conducting a repetitive loss area analyses for the entire city. This research uses FEMA repetitive flood loss data to create geographic information system maps to analyze flood vulnerability. Additionally, CHART has collected data on +140,000 properties within the city. The goal of this analysis is to help residents reduce their flood risk by providing a broader understanding of the flooding problems in their neighborhood, and the potential flood reduction solutions. The results of this analysis will inform mitigation planning and prioritization of mitigation projects, as well as provide education and outreach efforts focused on flood mitigation.

Rosemary Thuss, Royal Roads University
Jennifer Horney, University of Delaware
Chris Kearns, Royal Roads University
Naveen Poonai, Western University

Nurses’ Perception of Readiness for Mass Casualty Events Involving Children

After a mass casualty event (MCE), there is an expectation that hospitals will safely care for all patients who require medical attention. However, in Canada, there are no national emergency preparedness standards for hospitals related to MCEs. Children have unique physical and developmental care needs and hospitals must be ready to receive and provide appropriate patient care for children in response to an MCE. Due to shortages of funding, resources, and time, nurses have consistently reported feeling unprepared to care for children in an MCE. A study was conducted to assess registered nurses’ (RN) perception of pediatric emergency preparedness at a children’s hospital in Ontario, Canada. RNs responded to a survey with four domains: professional demographics and employment history, experience working as an RN in an MCE, knowledge of current organizational emergency procedures, and perceptions of professional preparedness. RNs with more clinical experience and experience in specialty services such as emergency and critical care reported the highest perceptions of professional preparedness. Although 74% of respondents agree an MCE involving primarily children will occur at some point during their career, RNs report they do not receive regular training for a pediatric MCE and that they are dissatisfied with the training that is provided. Identified gaps in preparedness training should be addressed across an RN’s career, beginning in nursing school. As practitioners and advocates for patient care, RNs must be empowered through training and provided opportunities to contribute to policies that create and sustain preparedness for pediatric MCEs in the hospital setting. 

Joseph Toland, U.S. Geological Survey
Anne Wein, U.S. Geological Survey

Modeling Emergency Food and Water Requirements in a Disaster for Vulnerable Communities

Research has shown that disparities in resource access and food security are often influenced by underlying social, economic, and political structures. Vulnerable communities may require more initial emergency food and water resources than other communities in a disaster and take longer to recover. However, research is lacking on the influences of individual and community characteristics on resource needs, and emergency managers lack a tool to estimate food and water resource requirements across communities in government-supported mass care, feeding and commodity missions in large and complex disasters. To investigate this issue, an algorithm is developed to estimate resource requirements at the nexus of utility and transportation disruptions and community vulnerability by weighing the needs of exposed communities using a social vulnerability index. The community’s emergency resource requirements are estimated at the 2010 U.S. Decennial Census tract scale using an assumption of resource requirement weights for levels of community vulnerability, and the socio-economic, demographic and housing characteristics that influence a community’s ability to adapt and respond to environmental hazards. A case study is presented for the M 7.0 Hayward Fault earthquake in the HayWired scenario for the nine-county San Francisco Bay Area. The model estimates 710,357 households (1,908,375 residents) with emergency resource requirements three days after the event. With the social vulnerability weighting, these requirements are focused into areas such as Oakland and the East-Bay Lowlands and away from the Oakland Hills and Eastern Alameda County. Research questions are identified to improve the estimation of emergency resource requirements.

Aya Tsujioka, Doshisha University
Shinya Fujimoto, Doshisha University
Fuminori Kawami, Doshisha University
Anna Matsukawa, Disaster Reduction and Human Renovation Institution
Shigeo Tatsuki, Doshisha University

Inclusion Managers’ Competencies Which Spanning Multiple Stakeholders and Boundaries

In the Great East Japan Earthquake, the mortality rate of people with disabilities has more than doubled in Miyagi Prefecture, where the welfare environment was advanced. It is because that only Miyagi Prefecture has an advanced welfare environment at home, compared with other affected prefectures. Once the disaster happened, these advanced welfare services stops, and people with disabilities were left behind. The problem is that the response during normal times and disaster time are considered separately. At Normal time, people with disabilities are under the jurisdiction of the welfare department. However, at times of disaster, they are under the jurisdiction of the disaster management department. The issues of vertically divided administration became clear. One of the efficient solutions could be a seamless response from normal time to disaster time. Furthermore, it is important to consider how to support a person with disabilities whether it’s normal time or not. In Beppu City, Oita, Japan, an individual support plan for persons with disabilities has been created in collaboration with citizen groups, local communities, and the local government. By creating these plans, the collaboration between related stakeholders are promoted. During the process, there is a key person who brides between persons with disabilities and various stakeholders, and she is the key component to promote the project. In this study, we will examine her competencies (in this study, we call “inclusion manager”) from the analysis of interviews. We found that competencies needed for inclusion manager are similar to the competencies needed for “boundary spanner.”

Shannon Van Zandt, Texas A&M University
Michelle Meyer, Texas A&M University
Jaimie Hicks Masterson, Texas A&M University
Chandler Wilkins, Texas A&M University
Erika Koeniger, Texas A&M University

What Makes a Strong Housing Recovery Plan?: Development of Evaluation Metrics

Housing recovery planning, if well designed, addresses community disaster recovery needs by speeding housing repair and reconstruction, encouraging more resilient and sustainable housing, and focusing on affordable and equitable housing needs. Furthermore, Community Development Block Grants for Disaster Recovery from the United States Department of Housing and Urban Development offer large financial grants for local jurisdictions to offer housing recovery assistance, especially for low- and moderate-income populations. Yet, housing recovery planning is still in its infancy with limited guidance available on how to do these plans and what to include for the best outcomes.

In response to Hurricane Harvey, Texas adopted State Senate Bill 289 which encourages local jurisdictions to make pre-disaster housing recovery plans that can be certified by the Texas General Land Office (GLO) to speed funding support and housing reconstruction post-disaster. The Hazard Reduction & Recovery Center at Texas A&M University is partnering with the GLO to develop evaluation criteria to rate these housing recovery plans. We adapted common plan quality metrics to fit housing recovery needs and used literature and policy briefs on housing recovery to develop several principles for high quality housing plans. This poster reviews these principles and the over 140 metrics we have developed so far. Our interactive presentation asks for your feedback on the current instrument to help us revise the tool. Once completed, this evaluation tool will be the first of its kind and will hopefully encourage more equitable and resilient housing recovery.

Heather Vilhauer, California State University, East Bay
Robby Layton, GP RED
Chris Cares, GP RED
Donna Kuethe, GP RED
Teresa Penbrooke, GP RED

Parks and Recreation Organization Roles in Responding and Recovering from Natural Disasters

As the number of natural disasters across the world increases each year, parks and recreation organizations are being asked to take on more roles related to the preparation and response of these natural disasters. An online quantitative survey of parks and recreation professionals from throughout the nation was completed in fall 2019 to further understand the role that parks and recreation organizations play in disaster mitigation, preparedness, response, and recovery. Surveys were sent out to parks and recreation organizations throughout the United States. A total of 77 surveys from a variety of geographic locations were received. Results indicate that the majority of organizations (65%) who responded had been affected by a natural disaster in the past ten years. Many of these agencies (<50%) were responsible for sheltering and feeding of evacuees, as well as playing a key role in damage assessment in the community. While holding responsibility for these activities, it appears that organizations are not being trained to do so. Only 36% of these organizations indicated that had received training for natural disasters in the past three years. Additional results look at the types of disasters, barriers to providing services, and agreements with other organizations related to natural disaster response and recovery. Results provide a benchmark for parks and recreation organizations to look to as they plan for the future. Additionally, results provide researchers a base-line for future research into the topic.

Marah Valerie Villanueva, The University of Auckland
JC Gaillard, The University of Auckland

People’s Participation in Post-Disaster Resettlement

The disastrous effects of natural hazards cause temporary or permanent displacement of people. To avoid continued or expanded vulnerability to natural hazards, resettlement is often implemented. It is also carried out when people cannot go back to their original dwellings anymore due to destructive change in environmental conditions. As per Scudder and Colson’s seminal framework, resettlement is a long-term process that involves different stages. These start with a stage of recruitment of the resettlers who then transition into their new life in the resettlement site and eventually moved into stages of potential development and incorporation within their host social, cultural and political environment. Resettlement may be initiated by the survivors but most often it is driven by government agencies, non-governmental organizations and/or private groups. This poster uses a participation studies lens to critically examine power relations between the resettlers and external stakeholders throughout the resettlement process. It uses a case study of resettlement following the 1991 eruption and subsequent lahars of Mount Pinatubo in the Philippines to show that the predominant role of external stakeholders often skews the whole  resettlement process, which often proves a painful experience for the resettlers. The poster shows that to enhance and fasten the resettlement process, there should be more genuine participation at early stages, which means that people should be able to make their own decisions about resettlement. This transfer of power from external stakeholders to the resettlers enables people’s voices to be more significant as they go further into the resettlement stages.

Tricia Wachtendorf, University of Delaware
Logan Gerber-Chavez, University of Delaware
Karolina Flores, University of Delaware
Shyaira Goodwyn-Dineen, University of Delaware
Alice Johnson, University of Delaware
Pryia Joshi, University of Delaware
Abigail McFadden, University of Delaware
Vincent Moore, University of Delaware
Desiree Segovia, University of Delaware
Jayde Shields, University of Delaware
Natalie Walton, University of Delaware
Kylie Wierzbicki, University of Delaware

COVID-19: University Student Experience During a Global Pandemic

In the spring of 2020, universities across the United States suddenly moved to remote teaching and learning. COVID-19 had spread to countries around the world, generating a global pandemic and leaving many faculty and students unprepared for dramatic shifts in their home, school, and work environments. In March of 2020, the University of Delaware become identified as the site of the state’s first positive test of COVID-19. Students were immediately sent home on an early spring break, only to find themselves unable to return to campus for the remaining two months of the semester. This research study emerged from a response to that shift in learning. Undergraduate students enrolled in a senior-level qualitative methods course were unable to complete their proposed research due to the stay-at-home constraints imposed upon them, and they instead embarked on a class project with their professor and teaching assistant to understand the experience of students during the crisis. Students interviewed over 90 of their peers in May of 2020, while analysis was conducted by the course professor and teaching assistant. Findings presented in this presentation will provide an overview of the various health, learning, and personal challenges experienced by students, as well as ways students found opportunities for coping and adapting to the circumstances they faced.    

Abhinav Walia, University of Newcastle

Exploring the Dimensions of Geoinformatics for Flash Flood Response

Flash flood is always a challenging issue to manage because of its rapid nature. In a short span of time flash floods can damage to a greater extent. The Kedarnath flash flood (2013) of Indian Himalayas is a recent example that has been given the challenge to the scientific community, administrators, and the first responders. Further, the impacts of climate change also elevate the threat of flash floods in the Himalayan region. According to the projections, the impact will increase in the future. The response to flash floods needs to be rapid and robust which needs technology intervention for the swift response. Space technology provides an innovative solution to address the issue in an effective manner. This project demonstrates the role of geoinformatics in flash flood response using various online tools i.e. Indian Space Research OrganisationBhuvan and International Disaster Charter. These tools are freely available and are user friendly, which is an advantage because GIS software is often expensive and need specialists to operate. The poster also demonstrates how previous learnings can be utilised and freely available geoinformatics tools can be utilised at each level for the flash flood response. Exploring these dimensions will be very useful especially for the local level where capacities are limited to establish and operate the GIS platform.

Yi (Victor) Wang, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill

When the Sky Falls: An Overview of Extraterrestrial Natural Hazards

Traditionally, natural hazard researchers are only focused on science, engineering, and management of natural hazards with sources from our planet Earth. However, hazards with extraterrestrial natural sources are also natural hazards. Historical records on extraterrestrial natural hazard events indicate that extraterrestrial hazard events, like other natural hazard events, may cause severe damage or devastation to communities on the ground. Given a lack of attention to extraterrestrial hazards in the academic field of natural hazards, this poster offers a systematic overview of extraterrestrial natural hazards, such as impact, geomagnetic storms, gamma-ray bursts, and encountering of a rogue planet, neutron star, or black hole. It presents the potential adverse effects of extraterrestrial hazard events. These effects may lie within a spectrum from no damage at all to total annihilation of the Earth-Moon system. In addition, the poster discusses the current practices of engineering and management regarding extraterrestrial natural hazards. Beyond global preparedness and mitigation, the poster also highlights the importance of risk assessment and management for local communities to cope with extraterrestrial natural hazards.

Russell Watkins, University of Florida
Bill O’Dell, University of Florida
Andrea Galinski, University of Florida

Affordable Housing and Coastal Flood Hazards

The Affordable Housing and Coastal Flood Hazardsweb application ( is a browser-based tool for the analysis and display of statewide housing susceptible to flood-related hazards in Florida. The tool enables users to (1) visualize the location of affordable and market-rate housing and quantify units exposed to flood hazards; (2) summarize the physical characteristics of housing (such as size, age, construction type, etc.); and (3) characterize households in units exposed to flood hazards using Census and tenant data.

Housing data is based on the Assisted Housing Inventory, compiled by the Shimberg Center, and the Florida Department of Revenue’s parcel data. Coastal flood hazards include high (Categories 1-3) and low (Categories 4-5) frequency storm surge; sea-level change projections (2030 and 2050 NOAA intermediate high); high tide flooding, 100- and 500-year floodplains; and post-Irma flooded lands derived from satellite imagery. Scoring is based on a geographic presence/absence analysis, and the composite exposure score is a sum of values categorized as None, Low, Medium, or High. This additive scheme facilitates the calculation of risk metrics by, for example, using weighting or probabilities.

Current and potential users of the tool include affordable housing program managers and funders, housing developers, floodplain managers, and others. Housing exposure and characteristics can be queried, summarized, visualized, and downloaded for further analysis on the desktop. The housing exposure data describes a baseline, that in combination with user-specific data, can be used to create analytical products such as housing typologies, risk metrics, or location-specific housing studies.

Nicole Weis, National Institute for Human Resilience
Charles Benight, National Institute for Human Resilience
Joe Ruzek, National Institute for Human Resilience
Carolyn Gery, National Institute for Human Resilience

Greater Resilience Intervention Team

In rapid response to the spread of the COVID-19 pandemic, the National Institute for Human Resilience (NIHR) at the University of Colorado Colorado Springs launched GRIT Resilience Support Coach Training. GRIT, or Greater Resilience Intervention Team, is an innovative approach originally established to train community volunteers to promote wellness and resilience among friends, family, and acquaintances in the wake of the stress caused by COVID-19. Participants learn about disasters, stress, and stress reactions, as well as self-efficacy, resilience, and coping. Participants then work through concrete steps of reaching out to people in their community, discussing and adding to strengths, and sharing helpful resources. Those who complete the program, which is offered virtually, are termed GRIT Coaches. As the GRIT program spread, there became a clear need to bring the program to schools and GRIT-4ED was created and launched in May. GRIT-4ED provides the GRIT training with a focus on school communities and creating supportive teams for students. As participants have gone through the program, additional needs have arisen. In response, the NIHR is currently developing two new tracks of GRIT, including GRIT for leadership and GRIT for small businesses. The NIHR has partnered with several community and state agencies to provide this training at no cost to participants. The GRIT curriculum has now been shared with over 500 participants throughout 20 states. Notable among those signing up for the training include military personnel, mental health professionals, teachers, nurses, charities, and business leadership. Participants can sign up at 

Jennifer Whytlaw, Old Dominion University
Wie Yusuf, Old Dominion University
Joshua Behr, Old Dominion University
Jennifer Marshall, University of South Florida
Elizabeth Dunn, University of South Florida

Planning for Evacuation and Sheltering of Vulnerable Populations during a Compound Hurricane-Pandemic Threat

This year’s hurricane season will look much different than in years past. The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration is forecasting above-normal activity for the 2020 Atlantic hurricane season, and with a global pandemic still front and center, emergency managers will be faced with unprecedented challenges on how to shelter people safely during evacuations. The conflict between mass evacuation and sheltering practices with pandemic containment measures has important implications for population health and wellbeing. A group of researchers from Old Dominion University and the University of South Florida convened calls of state, county, and local leaders, providers from public health, and others to identify needs and concerns related to the upcoming 2020 hurricane season under the current public health crisis. Preliminary findings suggest that personal protective equipment for both shelter staff and evacuees will be in limited supply but in high demand as emergency managers look to find alternatives to congregate shelters. Adequate shelter buildings, distancing practices during transportation and sheltering, and workforce/volunteer shortages are also major concerns. But perhaps one of the largest concerns is public messaging and preparedness impacted by risk perceptions and trust in authority; two major tenets of hazards research. How will people make informed decisions on whether the risks to not evacuate outweigh the risks of potential exposure to COVID-19 in evacuation shelters? How can tailored messaging help individuals and communities make decisions? This poster will outline the results from six workshops and highlight innovative methods that may be applied in coastal areas across the country.

Ningzhe Xu, University of Florida
Kaitai Yang, University of Florida
Ruggiero Lovreglio, Massey University
Xilei Zhao, University of Florida

Modeling Evacuation Decision-Making During Hurricane Irma

With increasing threats from hurricanes due to global warming, it is important to predict households’ decision to evacuate or stay as accurately as possible and to know which factors can influence households’ decision-making. In previous work, researchers have found that some exogenous factors (e.g., risk perception and the distance of the threat) and social demographic factors (e.g., gender and income) can impact households’ decisions. Further, some works discussed the influence on households’ evacuation decision-making produced by building information, but few works have discussed the effects of the building age on hurricane evacuation decision-making. In this work, we propose to predict evacuation decision-making during Hurricane Irma by using various factors, including evacuation experience, socio-demographic, and building years. In particular, we compare the traditional logistical regression model with five widely-used machine learning methods (i.e., decision tree, random forest, boosting, K nearest neighbors, and support vector machine). The results show that the best-performing model is the logistic regression model, which has the highest predictive accuracy and F1-score. According to the proposed logistic regression model, the exogenous factors and social demographic factors are consistent with the results of previous studies on households’ evacuation decision-making. And the newer building households live in, the lower probability households evacuate.

Jackie ZK Yip, Natural Resources Canada
Murray Journeay, Natural Resources Canada

Neighborhood Vulnerability Archetypes–An Approach to Account for Social Vulnerability in Risk Reduction Planning

The warming climate is associated with an increased risk of hazards such as flooding, heatwaves, wildfires. The impacts of these hazards include population displacement, damage of assets, and service disruptions. The extent to which these impacts affect people’s lives and their ability to recover depends on how susceptible they are to harm (vulnerability) and how critical are the services or assets lost. For example, new immigrants to a community may be more vulnerable to being displaced as they may have fewer social connections that can provide them with an alternate shelter. Given that the needs and vulnerabilities can vary significantly across different neighborhoods within a community, it is vital to account for the differential vulnerabilities and service needs in the planning and prioritization of climate adaptation, risk reduction efforts, recovery planning. This poster introduces an approach called Neighbourhood Vulnerability Archetypes (NVA) that uses the pattern recognition capability of machine-learning to identify predominant ways in which neighborhoods can be vulnerable to natural hazards. Each archetype is represented by a specific combination of vulnerability indicator values. This method is being applied to all dissemination areas (DAs) in British Columbia, and also subsequently to all of Canada to classify each DA by an identified NVAs. The NVAs serve as an efficient lens to highlight areas that are both vulnerable and exposed to impacts and concisely describes in what ways the neighborhood may be vulnerable.